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    Time to Face the Music

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    Queenofinsanity6
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    Time to Face the Music

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 06/07/10, 02:30 pm

    Nils woke up around midmorning, despite how late they'd been up the night before after their disturbing and confusing trip to the underworld. Guilt for a hundred different things kept him from going out and procuring his much desired wine, and so he'd tried to make do with the half a bottle left over from the other night with Aimee. Unfortunately it didn't really do much for him, and he'd had a hard night of it.
    Perhaps it was the trip to the underworld that had done it, or perhaps it was the guilt from what he'd put Mary through, or maybe just that he'd not had enough to drink. In any case, the nightmares were much more vivid than usual, and he woke up crying.
    After that, he couldn't stand the thought of even trying to get more sleep. He opened the curtains wide to let the sunshine in, then got dressed, coming to a decision. No matter how unpleasant the initial conversation was going to be, in the long run it would be better to go ahead and talk to Esperanza.
    As soon as he was dressed he went to knock on her door.
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    Re: Time to Face the Music

    Post by tuck on 06/07/10, 02:47 pm

    As Nils approached Esperanza's room he could here the loud thumping of bass coming from behind the door. As he knocked, he could barely hear Lady Gaga crooning over the bassline:

    "Baby loves to dance in the dark,
    'Cause when he's looking she falls apart.
    Baby loves to dance, loves to dance in the dark..."

    A few moments after he knocked the music cut off abruptly and the door opened.

    Esperanza was wearing black tights and a baggy white t-shirt, both soaked with sweat. Her hair was tied back with a colorful bandana and behind her Nils could see that the bed had been pushed to one corner of the room, opening up a large space that served as a makeshift dance floor.

    "Nils..." she said, catching her breathe, "I figured you'd come by. I didn't think you'd be up yet, though. Come on in...."
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    Re: Time to Face the Music

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 06/07/10, 02:56 pm

    Nils almost turned and fled during the brief timespan between his knock and her answer. He could tell by the music that she was up and energetic already, and the fear of her disappointment loomed. To him it felt very much like being a child again and getting a stern talking to by his parents. If he hadn't been so scared, the idea of Esperanza being his mother would have been quite amusing to him.
    He swallowed back his nerves and managed to respond more or less calmly. "I didn't mean to interrupt your practice time. I just couldn't sleep. Nightmares..." He sighed and followed her in, sitting a little uncomfortably on a chair situated near the bed. "Just get what you wanted to say to me about the other night out of the way. I know you're going to, and I'll be nervous about it until you do."
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    Re: Time to Face the Music

    Post by tuck on 06/07/10, 03:34 pm

    Esperanza sighed and stepped over to the bed, picking up a towel and rubbing it over her face and neck, drying the sweat from her glistening, almond colored skin.

    "Nightmares..." she said, almost to herself "Yeah, I had Strange dreams too. Although mine were actually pretty good. I dreamed I was walking on a beach at dawn. Chrys and Simon were with me, and we were watching the sun rise. We were laughing about something. It was nice."

    She sighed again and sat down on the bed, looking up at him.

    "You shouldn't be scared of me, Nils. I don't want that. I'm not gonna yell at you or tell you off. I'm just worried about you. What's going on with you and Chad?"


    Last edited by tuck on 06/07/10, 03:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: Time to Face the Music

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 06/07/10, 03:46 pm

    Nils once again had to resist the urge to turn and run at the mention of Chrys. As it was, he twitched and folded his arms across his chest protectively.
    It took him a moment or two to be able to meet her gaze. "I... I don't know." He admitted. "I thought we had something. Maybe we do. I hope we do. But he wouldn't come to New Orleans without permission to sleep with random people. Which is why we have seperate hotel rooms. I'm sure it's nothing. Not everyone is as exclusive by nature as I am. As for... my own indescretion, I was very very drunk and very very lonely. And kind of desperate for affection. Chad hasn't really been a very affectionate sort of guy. And I understand, I do. He's not totally out, and if the wrong person saw..."
    He sighed. "I'm sure everything's fine, we're just having to adjust to each other. That always takes time."
    He didn't sound very confident about that, his words nonwithstanding. He couldn't quite meet Esperanza's eyes while talking, and he couldn't stop nervously fidgeting with his coin, which he'd pulled out of his pocket.
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    Re: Time to Face the Music

    Post by tuck on 06/07/10, 03:54 pm

    Ronnie noticed Nils' fidgeting and gently reached out, putting her hand on his.

    "You don't sound too sure about that. Have you talked to him about this?"
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    Re: Time to Face the Music

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 06/07/10, 04:02 pm

    Nils sighed. "It's probably all in my head. I agreed to it, I really have no right to be upset about it. Especially since I did the same thing. I'm sure when we get home, things will get better. I'm sure this has all been hard on him. We'd barely started dating when all of this insanity hit. Then we ended up living together for almost a month. I didn't mind, but I know for most people that would be rather uncomfortable. I can't blame him for wanting a bit of space."
    He sounded a bit happier with that logic. It was convincing even to him.
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    Re: Time to Face the Music

    Post by tuck on 06/07/10, 04:31 pm

    "There's a difference between wanting some space and going out to sleep with the first guy you find. You deserve better than that, Nils. From him and from yourself. I know this is not my business, but for someone who's supposed to care about you he doesn't seem to consider you very much."

    She leaned in a little bit and caught a whiff of the alcohol already on his breath. She sighed, but didn't say anything about it, merely rubbing her thumb over the back of his hand.

    "You're not alone, Nils. You have me. You have all of us."
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    Re: Time to Face the Music

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 08/07/10, 10:37 am

    Nils shook his head stubbornly. "This is all going to work out." He insisted, "He's had a chance to work off the jitters about too much commitment too fast, we're on even footing now again. We're living in the land of the storybook now-that means this is going to work. By definition, we're all going to have a fairy tale ending-it's just that we have to get through the rest of the tale first."
    Nils was aware that this sounded like a lot of wishful thinking. He was aware also that if Chad fit a fairy tale role it was not exactly prince charming. But if he didn't entertain the option of failure, it couldn't happen, right?
    He smiled at Esperanza. "I know. You are all my family. But there's no use in getting the people I care about all worried on my account."
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    Re: Time to Face the Music

    Post by tuck on 08/07/10, 11:08 am

    Ronnie smiled, but the smile was more one of comfort than of happiness.

    "You're talking about this whole 'Fate' thing, right? Look, Nils, I know it's comforting to think that we're all living in a fairy tale and that everything will end happily ever after, but I'm not sure that's how this works. I'm still not sure I believe that we're all fated to play certain parts. I'm not sure I want to believe that. But even if we are, there's no knowing what kind of story we're playing in, or how it's gonna end. You have to fight for your happy ending."
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    Re: Time to Face the Music

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 08/07/10, 11:17 am

    Nils nodded. "Well, yes. Of course I have to fight for it. That's all we bloody well do anymore is fight, one way or another, to live our lives. I'm not saying it's easy, or perfect, or ideal. That's not how this story works. We've all seen that. This isn't Disney." He sighed. "I just need to believe that this is going to work. That something good is coming out of this mess."
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    Re: Time to Face the Music

    Post by tuck on 08/07/10, 11:24 am

    For a long moment Esperanza sat across from Nils, her hand on his, and looked at him. She felt helpless watching him suffer. She wanted to do something... anything... to help him.

    After a while she stood up and moved next to where he sat in the hotel chair. She bent down on her knees and rested her head on his slumped shoulder, gently putting her arms around him and holding him. She could smell the faint odor of wine mixed with sweat and tears.

    She sighed and blinked back a tear.

    "It will. I promise."
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    Re: Time to Face the Music

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 08/07/10, 11:47 am

    Nils leaned into the embrace wearily. He was glad for the comfort it provided. Everything he touched seemed to be falling apart lately. And maybe that was because of the wine, or maybe it was because of the fear. Maybe it was just because of who his father was, or who they all were.
    Whatever it was, he was getting so worn down that not even the wine was quite perking him up properly. And for the past few days he'd barely even been getting that. One big blowout, three days dry. It wasn't enough. He'd have to go out today and get more.
    Hugs were nice, though. If it were practical, he would seriously consider switching from wine to hugs-there was something more innately comforting about a good long hug from someone you care about. Wine was easier, though. More portable, more practical, and much easier to function while on.
    Under the influence of this hug, he was comfortable enough to ask the question that had been burning in his brain since the underworld. "Do you think we can really bring her back?"
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    Re: Time to Face the Music

    Post by tuck on 08/07/10, 12:05 pm

    Esperanza sighed and pulled back slightly, enough to look into Nils' eyes.

    "I don't know. If we are in a story... if we are children of the gods... then maybe we can. Hercules, Orpheus, Osiris, Jesus; mythology is full of stories of people who came back from the underworld. But if it is true... if we can bring her back... there'll be a price. There's always a price. I just hope we can pay it when the time comes."
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    Re: Time to Face the Music

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 08/07/10, 02:32 pm

    Nils looked away almost immediately, the discussion painful enough that he didn't want her to see. It was absurd, after all that had happened, as much of him as she'd seen, but he still felt that he had to protect all of them from how little he was able to deal with the world. If he'd bothered to think about it, he would have put it down to old habit-he'd never been able to let them see how the psychometry, previously his one deep dark sorrow, had affected him.
    "I'll pay it gladly." He said quietly, his discomfort at the topic growing exponentially. This was the first time he'd willingly talked about Chrys in weeks, and with the subject at hand, he wasn't quite willing to let it go, even though he knew he'd pay the price for it later. He would definitely have to restock soon. "That's not really a concern."
    As he said it, he knew that that wasn't quite true-he was quite concerned with protecting the rest of them from any price. If need be he'd take the brunt of it himself. Irrationally, having come to the decision brightened his mood considerably, and he even smiled a bit. "I'll have to start doing some serious research."
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    Re: Time to Face the Music

    Post by tuck on 09/07/10, 04:14 pm

    "I know you would, Hijo. But it may not be your price to pay." Ronnie sighed. "And even if it is, you know I would never let anything happen to you. I'd do anything to protect you and the others."

    She leaned her head back down on his shoulder and Nils could feel the heat of her skin next to his, her face still flushed and warm from the exertion of dancing.

    "But I suppose research is still a good idea. I should start reviewing my Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell. Maybe studying archetypes and stories will help us get a handle on what we're supposed to be doing."
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    Re: Time to Face the Music

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 09/07/10, 05:21 pm

    Nils bit his lip, but said nothing in reply to her promise of protection. He'd long since decided that he didn't really care about his own life or safety in comparison to the others. He wasn't exactly doing anything worthwhile with himself anyway.
    "That's not a bad idea. I'll start looking into Egyptian myth, since that's where she came from. I know Osiris came back from the dead, but other than that... Any information I can find on their afterlife or any resurrections is vital. If I remember right, it's a long process to get into their actual afterlife-it's possible that might make things easier."
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    Re: Time to Face the Music

    Post by tuck on 14/07/10, 02:47 pm

    Esperanza laughed slightly and sat back against the bed.

    "God, I can't believe we're even talking about this. Two months ago I didn't believe in anything, now I'm up to my eyeballs in obscure mythology. It still overwhelms me sometimes."
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    Re: Time to Face the Music

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 14/07/10, 06:16 pm

    Nils smiled and shook his head. "Yeah, it's crazy. And religion is a key part of my thesis-if only I could actually include what I know it would change the whole thing dramtically. How many people get to have on their list of primary sources a god or two? It's really an eye opener to have to put myself back where I was back before this started, to write a thesis that won't get me locked up in the looney bin."
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    Re: Time to Face the Music

    Post by tuck on 15/07/10, 11:12 am

    "Oh god..." Ronnie muttered.

    "I hadn't even thought about how this is going to affect my thesis. I meanI haven't even had a chance to work on it since this whole thing began. How am I supposed to care about the psychosexual aspects of stripping when I'm out fighting giant mechanical spiders and god knows what else."

    Ronnie was quiet for a moment, obviously lost in thought.

    Maybe..." she started after a moment, "Maybe I should quit school."
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    Re: Time to Face the Music

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 15/07/10, 12:02 pm

    Nils sighed. "I think we all need the normal right now. I know I do. I mean, I'm not exactly brilliant at dealing with things, nor am I any sort of psychologist, but I just can't see leaving behind the last of our normal lives at this point going well or easily. And we mostly still have the time for it, I think."
    He shrugged. "Or maybe I'm completely wrong. I've been that a lot lately."
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    Re: Time to Face the Music

    Post by tuck on 15/07/10, 12:46 pm

    Ronnie put her hand on Nils' knee and smiled.

    "That's not true, Nils. You're probably right. I just... this feels so important. Like this is what I was meant for. I got into psychology so I could help people. But now I have a chance to REALLY help people. Everyone else has something tying them down. Amee has her music. Simon has his computers. You have your family. Everyone else has lives separate from this. I just want to help people."
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    Re: Time to Face the Music

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 15/07/10, 03:17 pm

    Nils nodded. "Technically speaking, you're right. We were all meant for this-that was the point of us ever being concieved. Which isn't the most pleasant thought in the world, I suppose. It's really your choice, and you're right.If you think you can do what you want best by focusing on this, then that's fantastic."
    He sighed and shook his head. "Heaven knows one of us ought to have some direction here."
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    Re: Time to Face the Music

    Post by tuck on 15/07/10, 03:31 pm

    Ronnie looked up at Nils and saw the melancholy and loneliness that had been plaguing him return to his face. It hurt her to see him like this, more than he knew. Perhaps more than even she knew. It would take time to get him back to normal. Time and healing. But she wanted so badly to help him forget things... even if just for a little while, and without resorting back to the bottle.

    She pushed herself to her feet and stretched, offering her hand down to Nils.

    "You need cheering up. Come with me.", she said with a mischievous smile.
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    Re: Time to Face the Music

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 15/07/10, 03:35 pm

    Nils blinked and took her hand. "What are we doing?"

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