Log:Light at the End of the Tunnel

From Horror MUX
Jump to: navigation, search
Light at the End of the Tunnel
Characters  •   The Bon-Vivant  •  The Visionary  •
Location  •  Dispensary, Hall, and the Bon-Vivant's Room
Date  •  2019-07-26
Summary  •  A woman BV expected is gone, but the woman he didn't is here. The meeting's unexpected but the results are, perhaps, predictable.

She can't really be sure how long she was in someone else's head, this time. The way the two rooms have shifted, she can't really be sure. May have been a few days, in there -- maybe twenty minutes since her conversation with Chance and Penny? However time dilation plagues her, The Visionary is already standing beside one of the dispensers in the dining room, a third of the way through a bottle of plum wine she wouldn't be caught dead drinking in front of anyone. It's sugary, sweet, syrupy, and all around fragrant. It's a girl drink. Intensely embarrassing, but with something of a stealth kick and a warm, easy burn she isn't of a mind to turn down.

"Right, right, still a person," she confirms to herself before turning away from the counter, open bottle in hand, another tucked into a net bag at her side alongside a lighter and cigarette case. The dress she wears is simple, long, flowing, and tie-dyed in watercolor; it's not remotely 'Nyka', even if the rest of her, down to the tattoo, seems to be, if about half a decade younger. The lightning scar is different, running over roughly the same area her fractal tattoo had covered. The flimsy silk of the dress is not working on that figure as easily as it had on her original beanpole, but it's further distorted around the neckline by something pinned to the inside of it, right at the center.


The Bon-Vivant is not carrying anything when he emerges from the Rogue's room but his emotional burdens, and at present a respectable amount of whiskey is helping him out with the weight of those. There is, in fact, the barest hint of sway in his stride that isn't there usually, more ending up as a slight exaggeration of a saunter she may recognize than suggesting any danger to his balance. Yet.

It's not the only aspect that would catch the now-flatter memories of Pegasus (and, okay, likely now and then on Icarus). The navy silk pyjama pants are definitely not Penumbra issue, but the rest of him is bare and looks really quite Blaise -- down to the tattoo -- except closer to the age Nyka first met him. Perhaps a couple-few years younger? It's difficult to tell, around there.

The only other thing he's wearing is the ring.

He's distracted as he heads down the hall, lost in some kind of thought. Likely bittersweet, from the expression. A flicker of a glance at the temporarily ruined TV, curious, but it's the dispensary he's headed for.

And in the dispensary, there's a Visionary. He stops short, a little nearer than he really should've noticed someone being there, staring at her with the kind of blink that says 'wait, how drunk am I?' for a heartbeat. "Nyk?" he asks, despite the clear 'Cass' written across her collarbone, the question scarcely a breath. There's not much time to answer it even if she managed to catch the sound or read his lips, because he's already closing the distance, that shock turning into sheer joy, and throwing his arms around her. Asking might've been wise. Paying the slightest attention to the open bottle and all before lifting and spinning her with a more audible exclamation of "You're here!" definitely would've been.

It takes until he sets her back down on her feet and looks very much about to kiss her in a way she's recently familiar with that other things work their way through the combination of relief and delight and alcohol flooding his brain and he hesitates, fingers going tentative where they've found their way to that spot at the nape of her neck. Different realities. Different people... "Sorry," he says softly, and displays the first clear difference between himself and Blaise by developing a faint but definite extra pinkness. Apparently not sorry enough to immediately let go or move out of definitely-about-to-kiss-her range, though, or that thought hasn't made it through yet.


There's something about the dispensary that's a magnet for the Visionary's ghosts. Sooner or later, they all show up here, and half the time she's convinced they're conjured by the liquor she picks up -- likely not the clove cigarettes. Food? Rarely. Definitely not today. It's not like they can die, and robots and food mix strangely.

She didn't even need to speak of the devil, this time; she merely had to think it, and suddenly, when she's halfway through that turn, he's right there. For and instant, her eyes widen, and the smile is already rising at the corners of her mouth when she's scooped up -- arms pinned a bit at her sides -- with a tiny squeak of noise that's as much delighted as it is surprised. "I was just coming to look for you!" she answers with a sudden broadening of that grin; hefted as she is, he'd be able to see what's dragging down the neckline of the dress: the ring matching his, pinned into the neckline by that very first safety pin, dangling into the shadows right below where her name's been written in sharpie.

Once she's back on her ever-bare feet -- but more importantly, when she can lift her arms again, they're around him in an instant as she draws him in for an equally firm squeeze, instantly burying her face in his hair. "Hi," she whispers against his cheek, tears starting in the corners of her eyes. They're the smiling kind, the relieved kind. He's not the only one who knows someone who has gone missing. "No apologizing," she insists, her voice catching in her throat. "It's No Apologies Day, I made it just for Penny -- Samantha, she's Penny now."

Drawing back just enough to meet his eyes, she looks at him earnestly, all the usual swagger gone to simple joy. "I'm Cass. I-" There's a tiny gulp. "-was... I keep changing faces since that... that... " Since when face roulette started during the Carnvial of the Gods, no doubt. "Am I allowed to kiss you? I-" Nyka was much more brazen; this one definitely flutters a bit, and yet, it's almost possible to see her heart pounding in her throat, if the bright flush of her cheeks is any indication. "Because I really fucking hope so?" Her fingertips raise toward his cheeks, tracing the outlines of his features with far less hesitance than her words. Words are funny that way. The look in her eyes is all too familiar, overflowing with warmth and affection.


He could answer the question, but that would just make more delay before he was actually kissing her, when he could just do that. So he does. Everything else can wait. The fact she was about to look for him; the mention of Samantha, even if the new name got a slight brow-raise as if it meant something to him; even the more proper introductions -- they'll all still be there afterward, right?

It's a familiar kiss, with echoes of both that first kiss in his office after the years of separation and the last before their Icarus counterparts fastened their helmets to go do what they felt they had to. And, as it goes on, with the arm around her pulling her in close against him, of the one that sealed that wedding, as well, with all its promise and hope. The Bon-Vivant isn't particularly inclined to let it break, but sooner or later, he doesn't have that much choice. His eyes stay closed for a moment, forehead touching hers in another familiar contact that makes a smile break widely across his face, unstoppable.

When he lifts his head again a moment later, there's tears in his eyes, though they manage to remain there. This close, the evidence that that wasn't the case at some earlier point is likely clear. "I thought-- I knew I never saw you here before and--" There's not really any need to finish those sentences; she surely knows exactly where they go. "I'm, um. I'm Fizz, here. I decided it's short for Felix." A tiny pause, and the corner of his mouth hikes up again of its own accord. "Hi."


She sinks into the kiss with such warmth and sheer relief it's almost a wonder to behold the change that takes place over her features. All the nervous energy that had built up to a fever pitch and had the edges of her skirts shivering around her calves fades off like morning mist once the sun rises. Her fingertips thread back in through his hair, and she holds herself there until it's time to come up for air again.

Even then, she doesn't pull away, though at the sight of the tears, she raises to the tips of her toes to catch them from the corners of his eyes with light kisses. "Not a ghost, I promise," she whispers. "Just Cass. Or Cassie. Cassandra." Well, that's fitting, considering her nigh constant predictions of their impending doom. The grin that rises in spite of this is warm. "Fizz. I like that. It fits. You sparkle just right for that."

There's even more of a squeeze, and she murmurs, "Probably remember me as Danica, if anything. Nick's friend from Los Angeles?" A tiny laugh chases the words, and she shakes her head slightly. "Though please try to forget the costume bikini, I'm certainly trying to." The girl with the sword, electrocuted and dragged back from the tunnels. It explains the lightning scar, at least. The brief diversion to humor vanishes like so much smoke, and she frames his face with her fingertips as she quietly, but firmly insists, "Real. Promise. Not a ghost. I wondered where you'd gone." More quietly still: "I'm sorry if I scared you." The words are almost painfully sincere. It's another divergence from the familiar, but the somewhat roundabout way she comes at things remains intact.

"Been here since the island," she says with a soft chuff of a laugh, though it finds little traction. "Room's right on the end, across from Briar's." It's visible enough from the arch to the dining hall, with the little list hanging there, unreadable at this distance. "Put up a list. Couldn't find any 'hello, my name is' stickers, though if any place ever had to get those in bulk?" The grin returns, bright as sunshine and utterly enormous.


The Bon-Vivant closes his eyes again when she kisses at the corners of them, gives a small nod to the first assurance that she isn't a ghost, echoing in a soft murmur, "Cass. ...Cassandra." As though the names need tasting. If so, they must taste pretty good, because he smiles again, and it spreads a little further at the assertion that he sparkles, even if it also makes his head duck fractionally.

The smile goes briefly smaller when she mentions Danica and what to forget, a thoughtful glance off to the side before the smile widens again. "I dunno. It was a pretty great bikini," he muses teasingly. Easy for a moment to forget he isn't quite Blaise, even referencing something he only saw as Scott. And probably only in passing, too, as the groups prepared.

His gaze doesn't lose that same warmth and affection mirrored in hers, even when the amusement moves through it, and it can't stay away from her long. Aside from that moment of memory-access, there's only a flicker of a glance toward the relevant door in the hallway, easily marked by position, before his eyes are on her face again. And then moving down, though they're still too close for that to allow a particularly thorough look. Enough for him to add, "Kinda like this too, though." Might be subtler if he were more sober. Might not.

Either way, he steals another lingering kiss, even if it may have to fight the urge to grin on both sides. "I thought," he murmurs, "it was No Apologies Day." The existence of her bottom lip distracts him for a heartbeat before he meets her eyes again. "So I won't. About not being where you looked. I was checking on Boet, we have an-- agreement." Something more melancholy passes across his expression, but Ny-- Cass is right here! And that helps keep it from getting another toehold, right now. And possibly also the whiskey. "You know which room is mine?" Small pause, can't not. "'cause I could show you."


"...so maybe it really was a fantastic distraction, I will stand by that," she replies with the tiniest of smiles, as regards the bikini at least. "Doesn't change the fact that I still managed to be dumb enough to bring a sword -- aka 'lightning rod' -- to an electricity fight." Blind spots; they're always there, but the grin is at least an assurance that this one in particular amuses her more than she could be said to mourn it. All the while, she watches his face, utterly delighted with the play of his expressions and the juxtaposition of similarities and differences she finds there. "I think I suddenly... like absolutely everything about this." So maybe waking up to this version of pasty white girl isn't so bad after all. She's certainly not lamenting that detail any longer.

Her own grin is stubborn about giving way, but when it does, it's with excitement and urgency that are a peculiar contrast to the sudden softness of her lips. There are worse things than the taste of plum wine and clove cigarettes, the combination oddly spicy and sweet, and somehow it suits her well.

For long seconds after, her eyes remain partway closed, as if she's afraid that opening them would break everything, and leave her standing alone in the room, all of it an illusion. Her breath catches before she opens them, and when her gaze flicks up and he's still there, something in the set of her shoulders eases by a fraction. "I have a... Rafe and I, we check on each other, too. Beau? We-" Were that ditzy married couple, out at the lodge. She doesn't have to finish that sentence, but she murmurs, "...the little rituals here, every time. Waking up. It's... it matters." There's nothing in her expression that seems to chastise him for not immediately seeking her out, or looking; this place has its own ways. Solidity becomes less so when, in the sea of so many moving parts and changeable memories, they can't be confirmed. The importance of it isn't at all lost on her.

The instant response of, "Show me?" regarding the position of the room catches almost immediately thereafter. There's something she should remember, and yet. She doesn't. Not just yet, even if part of her somehow does. Another lean, another squeeze of an embrace, and she buries her face in his hair again to whisper, "Is it fucked up of me that I just want to hold you for like... a week? And not care about doing anything else." The smile can be felt, her cheek moving against his. "I. I mean. We kinda have to have every single conversation over again, almost," she whispers, but there's still a thread of humor shaking the words around to jostle their cadence. "I kinda like that."


Interesting mix with the taste of whiskey, as well. Worse things, indeed. And Fizz, at least, is utterly thrilled with the fact that she's woken up this version, whatever memory he may or may not have of her previous forms. It does not incline him to do a single thing to hurry either the kiss or her quiet moments afterward, though his own eyes are a bit more open, watching her.

Rafe? Is that familiar? Ah, Beau -- he nods, putting those various bits together, and the vague memories of Danica and even vaguer memories of her cute but not bikini-clad husband come together to make the appropriate connections. Another nod at the assertion that it matters -- a firm one -- but he doesn't address that right away. Her immediate response about his room gets one of those grins, though, echoes of all three other lives so far within it. He probably would show her right away, too, if she weren't leaning into him like that, and if the warmth and, yes, solidity of her in his arms weren't something he needs right now. "A week sounds good," he murmurs back, "...for starters, anyway. Though who knows how long before--" His gaze flits toward the broken TV, and the pause goes a little more thoughtful.

"My room first," he says, "'cause I do wanna show you. But I bet if we steal an AR room later, we could find ourselves a week hidden in it somewhere. And have almost as many conversations as we like." Almost. There's a thread of homour in that, too. He takes a moment to nuzzle at her hair in return, the scent so close to what the Blaise part of his mind has memorized it nearly hurts. "...it matters," he finally says. "Things here. The rituals and-- the things that remind us we're us even if we're also them. There's some other people I still need to check in on too, but..."

He trails off, pulling back just enough that he can see her again, and then a little further, reluctantly. Enough to unwind an arm to take her hand, and then enough to start down the hall and draw her along. "I need to show you, first."


There's something delightfully dizzy in her eyes that has nothing whatsoever to do with the plum wine, and the same could be said for the flush that pricks up in her cheeks and fills color into the shadows of her collarbones. "Fuck," the Visionary whispers suddenly, "the... yeah, waking up is... " It sucks; she flinches at the very thought. "When I woke up I was-" The words are hard to untangle, particularly after having filtered them through Pandora. "-there was one of me that never slept. They didn't. Synthetics. I was a synthetic, once. The one Nyka talked about," she stammers out all too quickly. "So fucking recursive but. But she never slept and that time when I woke up it was... everything felt wrong somehow because the me in my head, she didn't sleep, and-" She shakes her head as if to clear it of the muddle spilling out of her mouth. "-this time it was almost the same thing, just that Nyka? She wouldn't be waking without-" The smile is sheepish, part wince, but the ache in her words is real. "It felt wrong."

Her fingers twine with his, squeezing firmly as if latching securely in place there. "So... yeah. A week. Two. Month. Yes. Don't even care where it is." It's only after she's falling into step to follow that she murmurs all the more awkwardly, "...might maybe have cried a lot, because-" There is a pause, just her stopping at the edge of the hall, leaning back enough to hitch the flow of forward motion. "-actually, could you... check something for me?" The smile is already on the way back, and the curious gleam in her eyes is assuredly familiar. It isn't quite as wicked in undertone, but somehow it's all the more fierce for it. "Try the door?" It's hers, with the list spelling out the names: Dahlia Adams, Pandora, Angeline Moreau, Danica Durant-Knight, Urania, and Nyka di Mercurio taped to the front. "Not to go in, just. I'm... wondering something." That look on her face wouldn't be out of place on a cat at all.

She catches up just enough to settle her other hand over his shoulder, intent on watching what happens next with the tiniest grin playing around the corners of her mouth. "It's a bit of an acid trip in there, but." Teeth pin the edge of her bottom lip, and she arches a slow brow. Almost a dare. Almost. There's clearly plenty of the mad scientist in her innately.


There's an answering hint of a wince when she mentions waking up, and BV's brow furrows a little as she goes on, into the bits about Pandora. His brows lift at the mention that she'd been not just a synthetic but THAT synthetic, and the breath that emerges when she mentions the recursiveness shares several characteristics with a laugh. And then she's talking about everything feeling wrong when she woke, and he nods once, firmly. "It felt wrong," he agrees, "that was-- that's how I felt too. I mean, it never feels right, if there was someone there when I fell asleep, the first time that happened I almost panicked, but--" He shakes his head, and the smile back mirrors hers, sheepishness and wince and all, "--it felt wrong. And then I started to wake up more and I thought..." That she was one of the Others. That she wouldn't be here. He squeezes her hand back, for a moment almost painfully tightly, and his jaw tightens a little, then relaxes. "Yeah. A while, somewhere."

When she stops their progress, he glances back at her questioningly, and can't help a little upward quirk of the lips at the familiar curious look. The smile grows a little farther when he looks to the door again and sees the list, fingertips running down it and ending on that final name. The version of it she chose. That's perfectly clearly the one that makes the smile brighten a further notch, even if it's not the one that gets a sudden laugh. "Urania. I'd feel weirder about that if I was sure Dionysus would've cared. Now I can feel weird about that, instead." His hand slids further down the door, resting on the handle, and he glances at her sidelong, taking in the expression, the arched brow. The almost-dare. He arches one back, and tries the knob.

It turns. The door swings open. He doesn't immediately look inside, focused on her, instead. The room'll still be the same in half a minute, right?


"It's all so... roundabout, and that's just a fraction of it," she notes, leaning in closer to watch. Surely she notices as he scans the list, and the broadening of his smile gets her rising to her toes to land a kiss to the side of his neck. As if to say, 'as if I'd have it any other way'. "If it makes you feel any better, I woke to realize I'd been married to my half-brother by my former half-sister, which-" There is no way around chuckling over that, and her expression brightens still further -- but the curiosity is still there, burning like wildfire. "-we talked about briefly when I caught her earlier. She was incredibly happy for us, it was one of the brightest spots of the mission for her." It goes without saying that sentiment is shared by the blonde at his side, but that it extends beyond the pair of them has her practically glowing. There's a tiny sniff, and she sighs with a shake of her head. "Besides, someone eventually needed to cure that poor creature of the influence the Christian poets had on her. Not that I'm still bitter or anything." She is absolutely still bitter about that. Dammit, poets!

Surely, The Visionary had to see it coming. The door opening for him is simply fate, on some level. The smile is all it should be, but it increases exponentially all the same. "Thought so," she says with a sudden nod and a bright, airy laugh. "It's normally locked. It only lets people in that are supposed to be there." Pause. "Sometimes it locks me out and I have to go find someone. Spiteful thing, sometimes." But with that, she steps between him and the view of the room for now, and her free hand dips into the neckline of her dress, tugged down as it is by a subtle weight. When her fingertips rise again, it's with the ring, pinned there, trapped between them. "So I suppose you don't mind if I wear this proper?" she asks, quietly hopeful.


The Bon-Vivant feels similarly about it being a bright spot, equally obviously, but the idea that it would have been for Samantha too is pleasing to him as well. Good to know for certain she's around, too, even if he has taken at least a fleeting catalogue of the state of the doors by now. He laughs at her 'besides', and gives her a quick, wicked grin. "Well, given half a chance I'm sure he'd try. Fuck those Christian poets anyway." Nope, Dionysus didn't have a lot of love for them himself.

The information that it only lets some people in has him actually looking from her to the room beyond the door, then, with interest, though not so much that he doesn't glance to her again when she mentions not always being to get in herself, and he doesn't complain when she steps between. Granted, that may be partly because he's looking at her, then, and at the neckline of her dress, which rates reasonably highly on his list of local views right now as it is. When she lifts the ring, he ducks his head with another quiet laugh, lifting it along with his hand, the back of it to her, to show his own. "As long as you don't mind if I do." The hand moves to lightly catch her jaw, as part of stealing another kiss, and when he draws back he gives another answer, softer: "Please."


Even what can be glimpsed of the room through the door is something of a surreal artistic wonderland. It's a lush disaster of jewel tones in a true chaos of texture, full of nooks, crannies, and curious things. Every inch has been painted -- including some of the larger pieces of more stable furniture from ceiling to floor, and including both, as if Van Gogh did a dozen hits of acid and had a room-sized seizure. In the dim light, stars glow in the dark from the ceiling, surrounded by hazy glowing spirals of blues, violet, and gold painted from the upper portion of the walls upward.

Yet, the impressionist wonderland can wait, if the woman standing in front of it is any indication. She has eyes for none of it. She's only looking at him, not even breathing as she waits for the answer, heart in her throat. It's when his hand rises that the familiar gleam marks her eyes, as does the subtle shimmer along the base of her lashes. The smile softens, and for long seconds, she can only summon up a small noise of joy and relief before she answers him by joining that kiss in earnest.

She fumbles through opening the safety pin, miraculously not stabbing herself or fumbling anything in the process to free the ring with one hand; the other is too busy threading back into his hair, her thumb brushing over a cheekbone, never once breaking that kiss for an instant.

Odds are high she would echo that very same word back to him, if she could find any. Equally high, that she would do anything at all he asked of her in this very moment.

It would be hard to not notice she is wearing a ring already on that hand, the one from the 1980s -- and it is so very 1980s it is easy to pin it down to precisely that era and context; the story behind that one is obvious enough, and yet, it's no impediment, for whatever reason. At least not to her. She doesn't hesitate, slipping the ring right atop the first, titanium clicking against the same as it neatly settles into place. Explanations are likely for 'having all of those conversations over again', no doubt, as she leans in closer, asking, "...show me? Where. So I can find you?"


It's a sight to see, that room -- the ceiling, in particular, seems to be what has his attention before she distracts him from it again -- but yes, it can wait. All these things can wait. He doesn't try to help her with that safety pin, which is probably all for the best. It'd only double the chances of someone getting stuck with it, really. And it means his other arm is free to slide around her and draw her in close again, which it does.

Afterward, he only moves far enough to give her proper room for her arms, and when his hand leaves the spot at the back of her neck it had drifted to, it brushes along her shoulder and down her arm, until it closes over hers, fingers gently 'helping' hers to slide the ring into place. Of course he notices the other ring; it would be impossible not to. It doesn't stop him smiling again when the new one clicks into place against it, a smile not unlike Blaise's just after the kiss at their wedding. His gaze lifts from the rings to her face, and there's a glint of mischief in his eyes as he murmurs, "You're stuck with me, now."

The hand on hers shifts position to hold it properly, fingers twining, and the other arm releases her so that he can lead the way down the hall. It's not very far, though on the other side, before he stops at the door in question. Within the grain of the wood, one can make out a well-dressed man, surrounded by other partygoers, laughing as he sprays an impressive fountain of champagne from a bottle in his hands. "This one's mine," says Fizz, giving the image a thoughtful look, then looking to her. "Maybe I should have you try the door? I don't know if it has any opinions, actually. But it seems fair."


She inhabits that space so naturally, in some way; it's a comfortable dismissal of the notion of a personal bubble, even if she's trembling just a fraction as he helps her ease the ring into place. Somehow, she's even more nervous now than she was then -- but she has Nyka's uncanny certainty and resolve, too. It's the words that finally ease the tremors, and she looks up at him, all too honest, as she whispers, "Gods, I hope so," with a dizzying mix of relief and longing.

They've been gods. It can be made so. This won't, of course, occur to her until later, as she is entirely too distracted by the look on his face. Moving heaven and earth, quite literally, is squarely within their wheelhouse.

Fingers winding with his, she falls into step at his side, practically glowing again, refusing to be far enough away that her hip doesn't bump against him as they make their way down the hall. When they come to a stop, she lets herself study the image in the wood, grinning to herself suddenly. "That is so fitting, I absolutely love it." That her own is stippled with stars and a woman gazing longingly up at them probably explains a great deal, too. She's lost without them; it's a peculiar detail but explains much about the nagging wrongness of not being able to see them from the ship.

Teeth pinning her lower lip nervously, she reaches for the door, glancing between him and it uncertainly. She's not entirely sure if all the doors in the place are as opinionated as her own, but curiosity always wins, and so she tries it, wide-eyed and trying not to flutter too visibly.


Her reaction to the door make the Bon-Vivant grin as well. "Think so?" He continues to watch as she reaches for the door, and as she tries the knob. And-- it opens. He's not surprised, but it does bring the grin right back. "Good. So if yours locks you out again you can just come here." The sidelong look is mischievous again; he doesn't actually wink, but it wouldn't have been the slightest bit out of place.

Instead, he draws her inside. The room is far less artistic than hers, though on closer examination there might be somewhat more than the standard fixtures in common. At a first examination, the floor and furniture are dark wood, as are two walls -- one to the left, made almost entirely of shelving with all kinds of interesting things on it which surrounds a large fireplace, and one to the right that seems full of handle-less cupboards -- and a pair of pillars to either side of the head of the bed, behind which is a wall of rough grey stone blocks. There's what looks like another handle-less cupboard set in the ceiling, at one point, too. The other walls are covered in natural grasscloth, and there's a sheepskin rug by the bed and furs by the fire. The bed itself is large and covered in crisp cotton and cashmere and nubby iridescent silk, and there's a small grouping of seats and cushions making an area by the fireplace as well. There's a hell of a lot of texture in the place, most of it pretty luxurious, and nearly everything looks well-made and probably expensive. Most exceptions are on the shelves -- one low, tall one, for example, currently holds what appears to be a somewhat beat-up traffic cone loosely wrapped in a sparkly, thick feather boa. Here and there are what appear to be living potted plants.

He closes the door behind them, and gives her another smile, smaller but bright-eyed, as he leads her in the general direction of the bed, though it's the nearer of the nightstands he actually stops by. There's a couple books on it, along with a mostly-full bottle of what looks like whiskey and an empty glass, but at present there's also a familiar little titanium cube, and beside it, an equally familiar but somewhat less little metal device with a jolly, candy-like red button. "Look," he says, and presses it. The lighting in the room dims as if by its own volition, and all around them is filled with precisely the starfield she ought to expect, glittering off the ceiling and walls. And them.


Every room in the Facility is its own adventure. Much as she finds her own to be peculiar, no doubt, there is a constant sense of wonder any time she gets so much as a glimpse of any of the others. That the door opens? Doesn't precisely surprise her so much as it clearly delights her, perhaps confirming in her mind that the odd notion she had about the place was at least somewhat on point. "I do think so," she confirms, and at the offer, she leans into him all the more, letting her hand slip from the knob to wind around his side. "And I'm going to take you up on that." The grin is positively irrepressible.

For all that she shares some traits with Nyka, the complete lack of pokerface -- or the refusal to adopt it around him in particular -- is a little new. There's a tiny giggle as he steers the pair of them inside, and the look in her eyes matches the sound for her sudden giddy excitement.

And it is beautiful. "Oh," she murmurs quietly, chasing the words with a very familiar wolf-whistle, "you absolutely won the room lottery." The 'wow' is written all over her face, and chased with another enormous grin.

For every reason on earth -- and off it, more accurately -- there is no resistance at all to the notion of heading toward the bed, though the sight of the box leaves her speechless again, beyond a quick, "Is that... " before the question is answered as it opens, and the room is suddenly filled with stars. The dancing lights pick up the tiny gleam along her lashes all the more keenly as she looks at him. Even if it's an afterthought, she lets the net bag with the bottles of plum wine and her cloves slip from her arm to land at the foot of the nightstand -- or maybe she just forgot it was there just long enough to stop unconsciously holding it up any more.

The Visionary has seen magic, in her time. They all have, really. Even done plenty themselves, here and there. All of it leaves an impression. Much of it, if she were being honest with herself, has become old hat once she lands in the Facility and can reflect on it and the other like instances as a group.

Not this. This, as she looks at him, stars dancing over his features, is magic. Real magic. Not in any alternate world or life, but in what is as close to 'reality' as things get for any of them. The look of wonder she wears is almost heartbreaking in its sincerity.

It takes a lot to inspire an actual muse, but there they are.

Words fail her utterly, and so she lets go of them, for just now. She leans in to kiss him, hands threading up and into his hair, fingertips skimming his cheeks en route, like she never aims to stop.


The Bon-Vivant loves his room. It's 'home' to him in a way that may be different than for many of the other archetypes; the first real memory of anything he has, when he woke one morning as no one from nowhere. And there's something about the fact that all the rooms are different, somehow tailored for the occupant, that has him-- nervous is too strong a word, but certainly caring what she thinks of the place. If nothing else, after all, he'd quite like her to want to spend time in it. So the approval lights him up again, though it's probably the familiarity of that wolf whistle that briefly leaves him with another grin fit to rival hers.

It's the last one for a while, natural as it looks on him. It's not that he's any less happy with the moment, mind; it's just that the effect seeing those stars has on her is not so different to the effect seeing her reaction has on him. And she's seen it before, just on a version of that face a decade older or so. That hopeful light in his eyes as he watches her take it in, the small smile that grows of its own accord to something that could nearly rival the grin, but softer. The slight shine against his own lashes, and the touch of wonder mirrored right back at the sight of hers. That's a kind of magic of its own, only augmented by the play of light, and at the moment it's the only kind he needs.

Does he have words? They seem superfluous. They can wait too. He kisses her back, of course, just as avidly, and his fingers find their way up there as well, through her hair and along the skin of her neck. For a while they're content with that; then a soft sound breaks against her lips and his hands drop, tracing swiftly down over her shoulders and the curves of her sides, and wrapping to pull her in tightly against him. This time his hands slide lower, finding purchase to more or less lift her and bring her along with him the last couple steps and resulting topple back onto the bed itself.


Their earlier -- yet older -- alter-selves would doubtless be proud of them. Maybe from some distant galaxy, far, far away, they're having a drink and toasting the versions of themselves that figured this all out in less than nearly a decade as spirits in the stars. Maybe winking from somewhere in that bouncing red light that appears in a different place every time in just the same way.

Also, no doubt twin nods of approval for only wearing one simple and easy to remove garment each. See, the kids are learning! Good on them!

There is so much familiar, and so much new, and if she had to pin down which was more intoxicating, she wouldn't be able to decide. It blots out the dim awareness that there were probably important things to talk about. They won't be any less important later. They're unlikely to change anything about how she feels now, not that she's thinking that far ahead.

Right now, the tenderness of the kiss grows headier with need with every passing heartbeat. The sound is met by one of her own, desperate in a way she might not recognize, as she presses herself close, sealing her body to his through barely there silk that does nothing to hide anything of the forms beneath it. As he lifts her, a tiny, oh of surprise -- though not at the motion, or the way the world pitches to change the center of gravity. No, it's as she glances down over herself, and one hand slips down and away from his face to catch the still-open safety pin, this time hanging from the neckline of her dress. She looks through it, too him, then to it, then to him again as the smile grows wolfishly broad again, and she stretches out her hand to set it lightly on the nightstand beside the bottle of whiskey. It does a fair job of knocking the dress' straps half off of her, and they're barely hanging on as it is, leaving it utterly indecent. The tiny snag from the pinhole remains visible in the silk, shifting the flow of it where it drapes.

When her hand returns to the side of his face, fingertips brush back a lock of hair as she looks up at him, utterly in awe. Some things, apparently, will always hold true. Maybe not always the safety pin, but that look on her face seems intent on staying there. "Never want to miss you again," she whispers, and while the words are familiar, the voice is uniquely that of the woman here and now. "Was so scared I would have to."

So there are some words. Maybe the most important words, even if she doesn't realize it yet. Then, she's arching upward to kiss him like she aims to wash away that particular fear for good.


These thems can get away with that -- no uniforms, no need to worry about getting injured in engineering tubes, etc. It is handy, though. And needs absolutely no safety pins, whether that's a benefit or a flaw. They're no more a topic on his mind right now than the very important things they definitely did intend to discuss... whatever they were. They won't, indeed, be any less important later. And this -- this kiss and the press of her body against his and the feeling of her in his arms -- this is very important now.

The little 'oh' isn't too surprising, coming right when it does, but the discovery of the source does startle a little laugh out of him. The view of him through the pin is of a rather delighted smile, one that steals a little of that wolfishness from hers as she stretches to set the pin down and the effect the movement has on the dress is clear. He sneaks a hand up to help it out, hooking a finger into the draping neckline and tugging it yet a bit farther down. So his visual attention is perhaps a little less romantically directed about the time her hand returns, but that draws it easily enough back to her face, and the expression there is one he could drown in. There's some wonder reflected right back as he studies her features for old and new, trying very hard not to give in to the urge to just kiss her again. Long enough to let her speak, at least. "God, me too," he whispers back, as desperately heartfelt as anything she's heard him say in this guise or the other. And it's a good thing she intended to kiss him then anyway, because he really can't resist it a moment longer. It's the same sentiment, just in a different language.


The sort of conversations someone has in words is entirely different than the one they're in the midst of now, even if the ones he speaks renew her smile to a stunning breadth. It still eases into the kiss all the same with an eagerness that's utterly shameless and warm. She wriggles one arm free of a strap, slipping from his cheek only to return again; it's already skimming downward, this time, rather than up and into his hair, gliding over a shoulder and tripping over to glide along his ribs at one side before the other follows suit.

Fingertips trace the line of the waistband of the pants, likely as not intent on teasing until she runs out of patience for it entirely herself. There's a whole new him to memorize with her hands, and she aims to get right on that to make a properly annotated mental comparison in fine detail, examined over and again to make a science of it. The science can wait; the art's taken over, and she's utterly taken with it.

They would be really screwed if this was a game of strip poker, and the Visionary is completely fine with that. Her hands slip beneath the waistband at either side to slide down, carrying the fabric with it. Subtle, she is not, particularly as her hands rove backward slightly to grasp his hips. Her own lift just enough to let the dress start to slide further down, easy enough to whisk away or simply pool at her waist -- she doesn't seem to care so long as it's out of her damned way. The motion breaks the kiss for but a moment, in which the smile returns for a sudden, "Bed's a lovely change." It becomes a wicked grin all too suddenly, her eyes playful and bright.


It would be a very short game of strip poker, and the Bon-Vivant would be 100% on board with that. He's very happy also to do what he can to facilitate the removal of any and all clothing in their immediate vicinity, and once 'whisking away' adds itself to the pool of options, that's promptly the one he chooses, taking advantage of the temporarily broken kiss to shift backward enough to bring it with him. It means the kiss is lost for longer than it might otherwise have been, and likely gets a little in the way of her hands, as well, but he trails a few more kisses downward along the way, the breath between the first and second washing across her skin as he laughs. "And we've got two now," he replies, shooting a mischievous look right back up at her. "Or infinite, depending how you count..."

A shift of his hips and legs helps with the work she'd been doing, and he catches the cuff of one leg with the foot of the other, so that he slides farther out of the pants as he crawls back upward, kicking them off right about the time he finds her lips again. It is not, to be fair, the most elegant movement a man has ever made. It is, however, entirely effective for the aim, and the discarded pyjamas slither off the edge of the bed to pool atop the dress.


"I like infinite," she murmurs in reply, sounding more thoughtful than perhaps she should until her voice dissolves into a rolling purr of noise. The grin remains intact, and the Visionary watches him, her shoulders shivering with a silent chuckle at the kick of the pants as she holds her arms up in welcome. "C'mere," she murmurs in the instant before she's leaning up to catch his lips in a warm kiss. That sound continues to rumble in her throat, and the simple fact that there's nothing separating skin from skin seems somehow right again on a level she can't entirely pin down.

"Just have to," she murmurs between kisses stippled along the line of his jaw, "make sure we don't-" The words are broken between tiny gasps and increasingly wandering kisses as her hands skim his chest to splay her fingers at either side of his ribs. "-fall asleep here, so we can get to the-" There's no finishing that sentence. The concept is clear enough. No waking up alone for a while.

They never did get that honeymoon, after all. Coffins and fiery death do not count. So why not now? They can learn all their is to know about each other along the way, even if so much is already blissfully obvious.