Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Scarecrow's nightmare

Tin awakened to the sound of screaming.

To be more precise, the sound of Scarecrow screaming.

He didn't hesitate a moment. He leapt from his bed faster than he could think, faster than he could see, using all the military instincts he'd tried so hard to repress. He grabbed for the gun on the bedside table that wasn't there anymore. He ran for the door without it. Ripping a piece from the doorframe, he burst into the hallway, swinging wildly at whatever enemy might be waiting for him, then skidded sideways into a sprinting run towards Scarecrow's room.

The door was open. If it hadn't been, he might have broken it down. He found the lightswitch, still running, and skidded to a halt upon what he saw.

Scarecrow was not being attacked.

Her hands flailed wildly as she twisted and screamed, trying to shield herself from the nightmare that consumed her. She screamed words he didn't know, something here in French, something there in German. She arched her back in pain and screamed again.

“Scarecrow,” he shouted. “Scarecrow!” She didn't wake up. He ran to her bedside, dodging her flailing hands and grabbing her shoulder. “Wake up!” Nothing. She pulled herself from his grip and twisted away, yelling something he couldn't understand. “Wake up!” The nightmare only intensified.

Tin stood back a few feet and stared. He had no idea how to deal with this. None of his training could possibly be stretched into this situation. But he couldn't just leave her. She was in pain. She was fighting something, and it was something he couldn't fight for her. He couldn't help her.

She threw up her hands to protect herself, and more out of instinct than any actual thought, he caught them. Suddenly, the screaming stopped. He almost let go out of surprise, but stopped himself. She was gasping for air now, looking desperately from side to side.
“Scarecrow,” he said again, gently this time. “Scarecrow. It's ok.” He lowered her hands down onto her body without letting go of them. “It's ok.” Tears streamed down her face, but she was still. “I'm here. You're ok.”

“T-Tin?” Her voice shook, and her eyes stayed closed. Was she awake yet?

“I'm here.”

“Stay...” She didn't move. He could feel her hands trembling in his.

“I'm not going anywhere. You're ok.”

“Stay...” He slowly released her hands, keeping one hand on top of them both in case she started up again.

“Scarecrow. I'm here. Don't worry.”

“Stay...” She trailed off into actual, dreamless sleep. Her breathing was slow and steady now, and she no longer trembled under his hand. The nightmare was gone.

He sat down beside her on the bed, his heart racing. The nightmare was gone, but it would be back, he was sure. So this is what they'd meant by “other side effects”. He cursed them all again, once for himself and twice for her.

He would stay.


Random? Very much so. If things go as planned, you'll be seeing a lot more of these two. And hopefully you'll understand why the strange names and nightmares. Hopefully.

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