Understanding The Nightmare

Log Info

Title: Understanding The Nightmare
Emitter: None
Characters: Holly & Ian
NPCs: None
Place: Ian Stoker's Room, Rider Hall
Time: Evening, After Finals
Summary: Holly manifests her inner Ethan Hunt to break into Ian's room, demanding answers. The two talk, and reach a mutual understanding before a darker character comes out to play.

Holly loitered around the Rider common area around noon today, waiting for everybody to be gone — it didn't take long with finals going on around them. She had Claire's key with her as a cover — that way she could claim she was just picking up a few things for her friend — but when the area was abandoned she went into action.

"My team. My team is DEAD! They knew we were coming, man! They KNEW we were coming, and the disk is gone!"

By the end of the line it's not Holly standing there anymore. Ethan Hunt takes over, and the tape recorder that Holly has set by the door has a message for him: "Good afternoon, Mr. Hunt. Your mission, if you choose to accept it…" In the end, Ethan Hunt picks the lock to Ian's door, slips the recorder into his pocket, and closes and relocks it behind him, then settles in to wait.

By the time Ian gets home, it's not Ethan Hunt anymore, but a small, svelte blonde girl, who looks seriously PO'ed.

As of late, one Reb Stoker had made it a point to self laid exile. If it wasn't for school work or other such affairs, he was in his room, playing on his cellphone or simply napping. It wasn't as if he was avoiding the world or anything. He was simply, y'know, avoiding everyone in it. He was still guilty, though he did keep his ever present poker face during classes. The moment the bell rang, however, he was gone. Today was no exception. Though not the first to hand in the test, Ian was still fast, probably sacrificing a B for a C in favor of getting the hell of dodge.

And off back to his room so he could take a much deserve na—- Huh? From the moment Stoker walks into the room, he wonders if he hadn't accidentally walked into someone's else. Only, no. Padded walls were still there, as well as his eternal guy mess. "Uh, yo?" he offers to the relative strangers, expression belaying a slight bit of surprised by the girl just sitting there.

"She's spent the last three nights sobbing in her sleep, you know," says Holly. Her voice is acidic. "I should know — she can't stand to be near you, so she's crashing in my room. And I can't stop her from hurting." She jumps up from the chair — something that would be a hell of a lot more impressive if she were big and male and jockish, instead of small and slight and girly.

"Claire is just about the sweetest girl around," she continues — and it's true, from her perspective; the goth has never been anything but sweet to her. "She so didn't deserve to be shattered like that. And you better have one fucking fantastic explanation, or else." And if she isn't stopped, she will poke Ian in the chest, dead center.

And then, just to drive home the point — you know, if Ian actually knows enough about Holly to know what she's preparing to do — she singsongs, like a little girl skipping rope, "One, two, Freddy's comin' for you…"

In her soul something stirs. Something she hates.

For the longest of moments, Stoker's expression is a guarded neutral. Oh. He should have known that this would come eventually. You didn't just break a girl's heart without repercussions. He had hoped to, at the very least, get some time to talk to Claire before the full extent come to the surface. Then again, as Sunday had suggested to him before, perhaps it was way, waaay too soon to even consider such things. Going to visit might just cause more pain. Of course, when Holly jumps up and pokes him in the chest, the young man merely blinks - equal parts surprise, confusion and amusement coming to the surface. The last he couldn't help! The picture of this situation just was odd.

The twitch of the lips die well before she even makes the threat, or the murmur. He has half the mind to ask who who she is, before the sing song starts. That's when the bells chime in the back of the head - equal parts rumor, and what Claire has told him of a girl that could mimic characters in the movie. The neutral expression becomes a slight frown as he looks her in a new light - legs spreading very slightly just in case things did turn out fast. No fear though. That was one of the things eaten away when Noir had found a home in him. Plenty of worry though: For this situation, and for the girls.

"I feel like shit about the whole situation, Holly," Ian murmurs quietly, and honestly. "If I could have gone back and changed when I said that I would. It was a stupid thing to do." He shakes his head, looking her over again for a long moment, trying to see if she was indeed ready to hurt him for this. "Stand down though, and grab a seat. I promise you don't need to threaten me to get an explanation. No excuse, just that." A beat later. "I am going to talk to her. Try to mend things best I can. Now just isn't a good time, I know."

"You should," Holly says, still up in his face, not backing down — but, at least, not speaking the next two lines either. Because honestly, she doesn't want to let Freddy out. Freddy is the worst. "You seriously should feel like shit. I don't know what you said, but seriously, she is…" Holly shakes her head and something flickers through the fury on her face — it's pretty clear in that instant that she cares a great deal about the goth girl.

She takes a step back after a moment or two. "I haven't gotten half the story from her," she says. "I'm doing all I can for her, because she's just… she's a good person and she deserves better. But I need to know what the hell happened. She gives you the note and you just… blast her out of the water in the middle of the crowd?"

Though Ian's face remains still, his eyes fluidly take in what they can. The expressions that go between fury and true worry and back again, the shifts in posture, the fact she was unwilling to back down from a stand off. All's taken in before he shakes his head, hand coming to rest over his temples for a second. Her words were truish, though from the venom behind him, it almost made Ian wonder if what he had remembered was just a facade of a darker truth. The moment is enough, at the very least to get his mind settled on something. A beat later, he murmurs, "Want a coke?"

Indeed, he actually shifts to move around her if she will let him, towards the foot of the bed where a box of warm coke lies. One is pulled out for himself, while another is offered to the girl. "What did she tell you so far?" He was honestly unsure at the juncture. "I'll fill in the rest, but it would be easier to know how to start the whole thing."

"No," says Holly. She does -not- want a Coke. She wants Claire to be happy again — of course, she has to admit on some traitorous level that it would've helped if Claire hadn't picked this guy to crush on. Poor Claire.

"What I was told," says Holly, her voice precise and restrained — she unlocked one of many locks inside, and while she doesn't intend to let the others open, locks can be picked. "What Claire told me is that you were expressing annoyance at Sasha, who, as we all know, likes to lead Jerry on without committing to anything, and how if a girl wants to claim a guy she should do it. You were doing this in Claire's presence — and from what I gather, you knew already that she had a crush on you." Still does, Holly's pretty sure. She can hardly expect that to vanish overnight.

"And so Claire writes you a note on a napkin. Something along the lines of 'Okay, can I claim you?' This after you already told her you didn't want a relationship, mind, so, you know, maybe I can buy a little… irritation. But even if she meant it, sorta seems to me like she was also joking, or trying to make light of the situation.

"And then you decide to just smack her down in front of all your friends. You tell her off for having these feelings for you — and god knows I can't figure out why the hell she feels that way, but you must have done something to make her heart go pitterpat. And you just… ripped her to shreds. In front of everybody."

"All of that is true, in varying degrees," Ian replies, sitting down on the bed. There he just stares at the floor for a moment before pulling the tab open. Even then, he doesn't drink, instead letting the warm can fizzle as he considers his next words carefully. He had intended only the best in that situation, and had failed miserably. He wouldn't make the bad situation even worse by an errant word. No, he would try to explain things as best he could.

"Annoyance isn't necessarily the word I would give. Sasha's relationship with Jerry isn't… straight forward. She doesn't necessarily play like she wants him sometimes, and others goes into a rage. And that night there was some rage." That too had been Ian's fault. An errant question about whether she was 'Jerry's' girl. Things only snowballed from there. "What I had said, or at least implied was that someone shouldn't have the right to dictate another's life if they weren't also willing to commit." And that word, commitment, was the core of the everything.

"She did write that note as well. And she might have been teasing, but she wasn't either. It was a game, but when you like someone it's… there's always a hope that things happen magically." Ian lets a moment go by before continuing. "I should have talked to her more firmly before. Back when she asked me flat out. Made it clear where my head was back then. But I was perhaps too. I dunno. I might have given her the thought that perhaps if she tried harder or something…

"What I didn't do however, was tell her off. I can be an asshole sometimes, but not to friends… and especially not someone like Claire in the position she was in. I shouldn't have done it in front of everybody - that was absolutely stupid, and really fucking hurtful. The words though? I'd say them again, because they are the truth. And it's something that she needed to know about me.

"I told her the reasons why I wouldn't be in a committed relationship. Why I couldn't. Not now or for awhile. I told her about my sister, and the events that lead to me being involved with my ex. And how that led to me being what I am now." He shakes his head. "Maggie, my ex, I was to her like Claire was to me. I know what it was like to be manipulated by that devotion, especially when that person isn't equally committed to you. I am not that person. I won't play around her heart, and not let her think that she has to try to do.. I don't know, whatever it takes to get me." He finally pauses, looking at Holly for a long moment, contemplative. "All I can promise in this stage in my life is some fun, maybe a casual fling. Maybe. Claire doesn't need that, not yet at least. So I wanted to set her straight on what was in my head. Because there was absolutely nothing she did wrong. Except maybe think I was something great. What I told her that night was why I was the way I was." He shakes his head. "In front of people. That was the stupidest thing I could have done."

Holly is silent for awhile. She stands there, not moving, breathing slowly, and not looking at Ian. She stares toward the window, in fact, mulling over all of this in her mind. Her nose twitches, her nostrils flare briefly, then subside. It takes her at least three minutes to decide what to say.

"That -was- the stupidest thing you could have done," she agrees. "But I guess… you were trying to decrease the amount she got hurt. And probably you did to one degree, but she's still fucking miserable." Holly, who worries over Claire's health and heart, has that in her mind first and foremost: Claire is aching inside, and failed at least one of her finals over this. And Holly can't fix it alone.

"Let me talk to her first," she says at last, breathing out a deep sigh. "Maybe I can convince her you didn't mean to… devastate her so thoroughly. Doesn't sound to me like that was your intent at all. Not that either of you's exactly unbiased in this, but it kinda rings true, and it's not like I couldn't ask Jerry." She's seen Sunday around campus, but she doesn't have a clue who that Linus guy is.

"But seriously," she adds, "hurt her again and…" Holly doesn't finish the statement, instead squinting her eyes shut and grabbing her head. "Onetwothreefourfivesixseveneightnineteneleventwelve," she chants, and then starts over, getting as far as 'sev…' before her eyes open, her hands drop, and she grins. "I need you, Jesse," she intones, voice rough, gravelly. "We got special work to do here, you and me."

"I bet." That she's miserable. Ian had heard her voice when she 'thanked' him. That was very beyond hurt. It was one of the reasons he put himself into that self imposed exile. At least until he could get himself a bit more straight. A hand runs through his hair for a moment, and Ian looks at Holly again as she takes his claims for a moment. "I have no reason to lie, honestly," Ian murmurs. "What I did was bad enough. And if you're going to do a bad man's work, you better be there to watch what you've wrought, even if it means fessing up to all the dirty laundry you have." It was Stoker's policy in life. He was many things, but he at least would stand for everything he had caused - to face the potential monster.

Speaking of. He hears hers second bit, and the sudden shift of voice. Almost instantly he stiffens, a sudden tension as if ready to move at any moment. It takes an effort for him to finally let his shoulders slumped, relaxed, languished. Like this, Holly couldn't be incited: "I've got the body, you've got the brain?" Reb finally murmurs after a moment, looking straight at Holly.

It doesn't take much for Freddy Krueger to get angry enough to kill somebody. As it happens, though, Jesse (nee Ian) is not a subject of ire in particular right now, and Freddy didn't get into the real silly killings until the third movie. Right now he's stuck in the second (not one of the better films, but surreal and Freddy was genuinely a villain, not some slapstick monstrosity that would make some crack about Ian seeing how it felt to have his heart broken and… well, yeah.

"You read my mind!" pronounces Holly/Freddy, reaching up with one hand to grasp the right side of his/her scalp and peel it back. There are two problems with this, of course: one, Holly's scalp, not being burnt to a crisp and allowed to mature for ten to fifteen years while the parents of Elm Street pretended that they had never cornered a man in a boiler room and burnt him alive, is not so easy to peel away, and two, when a human being, rather than a raving dream spirit, peels their scalp away, there is skull beneath, not brain.

Fortunately, Freddy doesn't get so far. He attempts to pull back his scalp and it doesn't come away. He tugs a couple more times — it's sort of comical, really — and then turns around, trying to find a mirror. "What the hell?" When he spies himself in the mirror, like most of the people whose minds take over Holly's brain and body on occasion, he sees himself — burnt, wearing a felt hat and a ratty red and green striped sweater. This time, however, he starts to see Holly as well, and that gives her the leverage to push herself free psychologically, and force Freddy back down into the subbasement where she keeps him in chains. The change in her posture is immediate and dramatic.

Ian watches this entire happening, body completely still. He wasn't afraid, but he also had no clue what was the best thing to do in this situation. Any word, anything to provoke would probably end violently. And with tensions as high as they were, Stoker wasn't sure that the monster inside of Holly would provoke the monster inside him. Blood wasn't needed on this evening. When she begins to have a visible shift from Freddy back to Holly, Ian moves. Within a blink, he's by her side, hand coming to her shoulder, with a slight frown upon his features. "Are you alright Holly?"

Holly nods. "Yeah," she says. "He's gone. It's over." Unconsciously mimicking Nancy Thompson — Heather Langenkamp in Nightmare 3. She's probably lucky that Nancy herself doesn't jump at the chance to drop past Holly's weakened defenses, but that person, along with Marie Lubbock, Nancy Kerrigan and Christy Carruthers, has been standoffish since Holly received her restraining order. "Sorry," she adds, almost sheepishly. She knows she has herself to blame for that little display. "And I should go check on Claire." She pauses. "I appreciate that you tried to let her down easy. Even if it didn't work." And then she reaches for the door.

"No need to apologize. Keeping some things inside can be very hard." It's said with empathy, not by sympathy. Ian had a feeling he knew some of the difficulties Holly faces. Different in many ways, but it was a very tiring thing to hold in a monster. "Give her my regards," Ian murmurs as Holly decides to head out. Only, a second later he winces, shaking his head. "Actually, probably best not to. If you want, you can give me a black eye and tell her about it. I'd." Heal. But not many knew about that power yet, and he wasn't quite willing to share all his secrets quite yet. "It'd probably make her feel a bit better." When she reaches the door, Ian's already back to his bed, falling back upon it with an inaudible sigh. Appreciation? "Thanks," he murmurs, hollowing. After all, close only ever counted with horse-shoes and hand grenades. "And Thank you… for y'know. Being there. You have no clue how important that can be. These things never should be faced alone."

Holly turns back for a moment. Her expression is haunted, and though she's smiling (however sadly) it's almost ghastly itself — and this is no character, but simply the facade she usually wears stripped away after the close call with one of the creatures she fears most. "I know," she says simply, and then she's out the door. She'll stop at the bathroom to put her face back together — that is, to force herself to believe the role that she plays all day most days — and then she heads back off to Prentiss, reminding herself to smack Sasha upside the head one of these days when she has an excuse.

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