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14 August 2006 @ 10:26 pm
To sleep: perchance to dream  
I jolted awake, gasping for air, my fingers digging into the bedsheets on either side of me. Early morning light filtered in through the curtains, but I kept my eyes wide open and trained on the ceiling overhead, trying to still my nerves. I was drenched in sweat, but I was shivering and I felt cold deep inside.

Bits and pieces of the nightmare came back to me as I forced myself into complete wakefulness. I tried not to focus on them, but the images were there, and I couldn't block them out.

Dream-running through the red-lit underground passages of Ord's ship. Like running through red syrup, difficult to breathe, and so slow, despite how hard I was trying. Peter, strapped to a lab table, unmoving. At first I thought the red light washed over him, too, but as I got closer I realized that he was covered in dried blood.

The major variation of this dream was the guards who followed me, shooting at me while I stood over the table. I phased, but each bullet left a cartoon-like hole in my body, so I was polka-dotted with empty spots. That's when I started to disappear.

I remembered this part of it clearly. It started with my feet. I looked down and saw them fading, and quickly turned to Peter, to try to revive him, to help him, just to touch him. But before I could, my hands disappeared. As I watched in horror, Peter woke up on the table, terrified eyes staring into mine. I heard the whirr of the instruments starting, and he struggled, but could not get free.

The last thing I remember is his anguished voice screaming my name, the name that only he calls me.


Organizing the fragments in my mind, I was able to slowly push them to the side. My heart rate had slowed to a somewhat normal pace, and I was able to breathe normally now. I relaxed my death grip on the bedding and lifted my hands to scrub them over my face. I had to figure out a way to stop these nightmares. Peter would not be pleased to know I was having them, and they were starting to take a physical toll on me. I was getting little sleep and waking up tired, and the images they produced were always in the back of my mind, stressing me out.

Worse, I was now worried that Peter would decide he was ready to talk about what he'd endured, adding more fuel to my cursed imagination. I wanted to be there for him, wanted to listen to anything he had to say and offer support, but what would the result be? This only reinforced my decision not to let him know about the nightmares; if he did, he would never want to discuss his experience with me, choosing instead to protect me by possibly bottling it all up inside. And I couldn't have him hurt himself for my sake, when he'd been hurt so much already.

I sat up in bed and came to a difficult conclusion; I was going to have to ask Emma to look into my head and lock the nightmares away. A chill snaked down my spine at the thought and I pulled the covers up around me, scooting back to sit against the headboard. It was one of the absolute last things I wanted to do, but I could unfortunately see not other way around it. The nightmares had to stop. There was too much going on now, and I needed to be at the top of my game. I didn't have superhuman reserves of strength like some of the others did; I had to rely on good old fashioned sleep to recharge my batteries. I couldn't be walking around groggy with visions of torture playing behind my eyes.

Decision made, I threw off the covers and swung out of bed. I saw that I was still in my clothing from the day before, and I remembered that I had fallen asleep in Peter's arms. Gentleman that he is, he must have tucked me into bed.

One of the perks of being a teacher is having a private bathroom in my room, and I quickly showered and dressed before heading into the hallway with thoughts of breakfast and pop quizzes on my mind.

((Open to anyone who intercepts her))
thelastrasputin on August 21st, 2006 05:23 pm (UTC)
Sleep is not something I take for granted, and no longer anything that I can enjoy. It is rare that I sleep past sunrise. It is rare that I go to sleep before midnight. I know this is not best for me, and yet I do it. I have the benefit of not knowing fatigue in my steel form. It is possible, technically for me to tire, but the limits to which I must be pushed in order to achieve that, are almost impossible to hit. It isn't my steel form that suffers. It is my flesh body, my mind, that are always tired, ever weary, as a result.

I don't know how long it will be before I can be in a closed room by myself, and not suffer the panic and anxiety, not suffer the dreams. Maybe it will never happen. Maybe some day I will wake up having slept 8 restful hours, not thinking for a second how strange that is. Usually I can draw out the time I sleep by going outside, or to a more open common room, or a patio. I was never claustrophobic before, I need to work through it. I can ignore my fears to some point when I am waking, but asleep I am once again, a helpless prisoner to them.

Terror dreams of the lab got a break last night, and I awoke in steel, nearly screaming from an image of Kitty, burned into my brain. She is crushed under the weight of my steel form, as I try to save her from impalement at the hands of Danger. In my dream, I am steel, but the "spike" goes through me anyway. My weight and momentum slamming me into the woman I love, crushing her, and impaling her at the same time. Killing her before I have even had a chance to reconnect with her, to let her know how very much I need her in my life, how she is one of only a few things I was able to keep in my mind all that time in captivity.

In my dream I awoke, having taken the full efforts of our healer, only to find her lifeless and broken body next to me. There was no power left to save her, after they healed me. I woke up when my heart broke, the feeling of being on the verge of throwing up, still in my gut.

I ignored all feelings, and went outside for a long, hard run. I showered, and found, as is often the case, that I could not handle going back to stay in my room at that point. I took the materials I was working on regarding my squad, regarding my ideas for classes I could teach, and I headed to get breakfast. I could try to turn all my extra waking hours into something productive. Maybe once I was well into other projects I could free myself of some of the other things that seemed to occupy my mind. I could try at least.

Katherine "Kitty" Pryde: Specialprydeofthexmen on August 24th, 2006 02:37 am (UTC)
Peter was in the kitchen when I walked in. He had either just arrived there himself, or had already completed his meal, as there was no food in his hands.

It still gave me a jolt, and then a rush of intense delight, to see him alive and healthy. When I turned a corner or walked into a room and found him standing there, I felt a warmth spread through my chest. The sight of him erased the lingering images from my most recent nightmare, and I smiled as I walked closer to him. "Hey, handsome," I said. "Leave any food for me?"

I touched his arm briefly, just for the simple reassurance of contact, and stepped away to get myself a cup of green tea.
thelastrasputin on August 24th, 2006 12:56 pm (UTC)
I was surprised to see Kitty when she came into the kitchen. I was getting ready to go for my first serving, and had only just set my things down at a table to free up my hands for a tray.

Her touch was nice. It was brief, but it was comforting to me. I had some difficulty with the rapid fire images that shot through my head of those moments in our fight with Danger, and the warped version of reality that my dream presented me. I am not an advocate, but I wonder if there is no medicine for suppressing dreams. Maybe that isn't what I need.. Maybe I need counseling, or maybe I just need to have her closer to me.

I joked back at her comment. "I have not had anything yet, but I was here first, so it is mine if I want it."

When she went off toward the drinks, I went for my food. I settled on eggs, sausage and toast, with a large helping of mixed fresh fruit. I planned to go back for more fruit when I finished that.

I hoped she would join me at the table I was at. There weren't a lot of people in the cafeteria, as it was still pretty early.
Katherine "Kitty" Pryde: The Trick is to Keep Breathingprydeofthexmen on August 31st, 2006 12:32 am (UTC)
I got myself a cup of tea and grabbed a few slices of toast and an orange. The effects of the nightmare had worn off, but I found I still didn't have much of an appetite. I carried everything over to the table Peter had seated himself at and took a seat.

"So, what are your plans for the day?" I asked. "I have meetings with my squad later, and I need to meet with Emma about some stuff, too." I spread butter on the toast, keeping my eyes focused downward as I hoped he wouldn't ask about Emma. "I was also going to look over the original plans for the Danger Room and that area, since we're going to have to rebuild all of that."
thelastrasputin on September 3rd, 2006 02:45 am (UTC)
I looked at what she had, compared to what I had, and for a moment felt like a glutton. I got over that pretty quickly, as we are certainly different body types. I silently thanked all of creation that we were indeed... very different body types. It had been a silly response, but in a way I still feel like there is a strange newness and uncertainty between us. I need for us to get over that, if there is going to be an us. I need her now I think. I know I could sleep better if she was next to me, but I still don't know that I am able to think that about her. Two years. Two lost years for me, two years of moving on for her. Whatever I know, I know for certain I cannot take her for granted. I cannot take us for granted. She has seemed to indicate that there is still an us.. or there could once again be.. an "us". Would that help me to sleep, or would she be in danger.

None of that had anything to do with what she was saying. I thought for a moment beyond that cocktail of uncertainty and grief that seemed to coat everything. Kitty Was in front of me, very real, and very much talking to me.

"I thought I would go over plans for working with squad. Have a meeting with my squad, with.. an opportunity for everyone to just talk. I am open right now to their input on how we will proceed to some degree. These are smart kids, I look forward to working with them more. " I paused again, troubled once more by all the issues that the words "danger room" seemed to encapsulate now. "I will help.. I am living bulldozer.. I can help clear... I can help rebuild as well." She is looking down, but I am smiling. I am looking into her face even though our eyes aren't meeting.