5 April 2014
<NYC> Maya's Apartment – Lower East Side
This is a modest apartment, clean and cheerful, one unit in a large building. The front door opens up into a cosy living room, the furniture all very low-set to the ground to encourage floor seating -- there is a low futon around a wide coffee table and several enormous pillows for seating, and a candle-lit altar set up against one wall holds some Hindu iconography together with candles and frequently changed fresh flower arrangements. The kitchen is small but tidily arranged, kept clean and generally lending the whole apartment a smell of spices that blends with the /other/ smell of incense that it often bears.
There are two bedrooms that branch off down the hall, a small bathroom in between them. One is a good deal more cluttered than the other, computer desk and dresser and shelves spilling over with an enormity of knickknacks and a wealth of brightly coloured clothing in the closet. A huge dog bed sits by the queen-sized bed (usually dressed in very colourful sheets and blankets.) At the very end of the hall is a third room -- it could be another bedroom but has been turned into a little studio instead, musical equipment residing in here together with a pullout couch.
Maya's apartment is smelling of Indian food, as it quite often does, rich and spiced. There's saag paneer cooking on the stove next to a simmering pot of kheer. Ratri is sprawled out on the floor in the living room gnawing on a huge peanut-butter stuffed Kong, quiet contented grunts coming from her. There is music coming from the end of the hall, Rachmaninoff playing on the keyboard as Maya practices. She is dressed in her usual colourful style, pink-and-yellow salwar suit, the matching dupatta forgotten off on the living room couch, at the moment.
There is a soft knock at the door to announce Micah's presence. He is rocking back and forth on his feet in the hall, weight shifting in mild agitation. His clothes are still the same thrift shop simplicity he's been in all day: olive newsboy cap and army green canvas jacket, hunter green henley and faded bluejeans, a pair of old hiking boots on his feet. A messenger bag hangs at his hip and his hands are filled with a small Tupperware container (the last of its kind!) full of blondie cookies.
The knock is answered, first, by a deep /whuff/ as Ratri lumbers to her feet, abandoning her Kong to go snuffle eagerly at the door. The piano-playing ceases, bare feet padding down the hall quickly as Maya hastens towards the door as well. She nudges Ratri back with a heel, throwing the locks open to let Micah inside. There's a little bit of a peaked look to her face, eyes slightly shadowed with lack of sleep, but her smile is bright and warm, as is her greeting: "Micah! Hello, hi, come in -- you brought cookies! You didn't need to, thank you." Her arm is opening in offer of hug even as Ratri pokes out from around behind her leg to thrust her nose at Micah for snuffle-licks, tail thumping happily.
Micah steps just inside the door, taking Maya up on her offer of hugs with a tight squeeze before handing over the cookies. "Smells /heavenly/ in here, hon. An' I just /brought/ the cookies. Never like t'go t'someone's home empty-handed. Jax /made/ 'em, though, so they're actually good. An', y'know, edible." Once there is enough space for him to take a step back, he does so and falls into a crouch to greet Ratri, as well, with vigorous ear and muzzle rubs. "Hello, girl. We should arrange a play-date for you'n Obie. He's gettin' all kindsa outdoor time an' play with the kids at the school, but s'been short on time with other /pups/ lately." Eventually, he takes a moment to remove his shoes and then pushes back up to standing, regarding Maya. "How're you doin', honey? I have t'admit I didn't quite.../get/ what you were sayin' y'found in your e-mail."
Maya returns the hug tightly and then shakes her head, closing the door behind Micah with one hand and taking the cookies with the other. "I -- to be honest, also don't quite get what I found," she admits with a small blush, dropping back further into the apartment. Ratri shoves her head into the petting eagerly, cold nose pushed up into Micah's hand. "I followed a path straight /through/ Dusk's dream and found a -- very interesting man." The faint blush continues with this, and she turns back to deposit the Tupperware onto the kitchen counter, stopping to belatedly ask Micah with faintly wide eyes, "-- Oh, god, can I get you something? Drink, maybe? Forgive me, I'm -- out of sorts."
"This whole Dreamwalkin' thing is so very.../Sandman/." Micah shakes his head, this movement reminding him to take off his hat now that he's indoors and stuff it into his messenger bag. "I'll sit an' talk it through with you, if that'll help. I got...some things t'update you on, too." His tone is a bit more /grave/ with that report. "Um...goodness, honey, of course you're outta sorts. Been awhile since y'got any sleep, I'm sure. I'll have...whatever you're havin', if y'got a thing. Otherwise just water'd be fine, sugar."
"It's been a little bit," Maya acknowledges, dipping her head in a small nod. She slips off into the kitchen, setting a small saucepan of milk to heat on the stove and getting out a tin of tea to start preparing chai. "I met a man who said he -- had the ability to -- send memories back to himself. From the future. But only to himself and only very brief snippets -- nothing like the vivid dreams that have been happening." Her eyes fix down on the saucepan, brows creasing slowly. "He said that -- he needed help. Augmentation. To accomplish anything more. And that -- recently he'd also experienced a similar dream. And that after this dream an -- object from the dream had manifested for him. And later vanished."
"So...the man was connected t'Dusk's dream? Otherwise y'wouldn't have ended up with 'im /from/ Dusk's dream, I guess." Micah leans against a counter, brows knit slightly as he processes the information. "An' it sounded like /you/ sent a dream t'him the usual way. Perhaps because he requested for you t'do so, 'cause there was somethin' important he needed t'know. But maybe...you in the future sent 'im that dream back to the past...our present? 'Cause he got the objects an' future information, but not that you /remember/ doin'. Okay. So. That...kinda tracks, maybe. But how's the dreams gettin' from him to all of everybody else? 'Cause /that/ ain't happenin' in the usual way."
"I imagine that me-in-the-future and him-in-the-future worked together to send him-in-the-present --" Maya hesitates, stirring tea in to the milk on the stove. "Well, I don't exactly know, really. I'd have to /talk/ to future-me or future-him and I feel like there's /probably/ some kind of reason that /talking/ to future-me is a bad idea, right? Doesn't that always go badly? But /I/ can connect people. And /he/ can send things through time. So maybe working together we can chain all these things together. It sounds exhausting, though, Micah. I never told anyone but I'd worn myself half to the bone with what I was doing in February. If I'm -- sending things through /time/ I can't imagine it's easy."
"So. Whatever dream got sent to this fella's present-self didn't come with no /explanation/, then, did it? That'd be too easy, I guess." Micah's head shakes again, quite firmly. "Ohgosh, no. Don't go playin' with no time travel stuff if y'can avoid it. S'messy. So...we think these dreams are actual bits of the future that you an'...this guy. Are sendin' back to just...whoever? For...some kinda reason. That nobody knows yet. But that means they /are/ predictive. They're what would go on t'happen if these dreams never got sent." At Maya's talk of being worn out, Micah 'tsks' lightly. "Honey, y'need t'/rest/ sometimes, too. Ain't...no good if y'wear yourself out entirely on alla this business."
Maya adds sugar and spices straight to the saucepan of steeping tea, stirring slowly as she talks. "I think this whole thing is messy." She has a lopsided smile, at this, but there's a little bit of an exhausted droop to her posture. "Yes, I think -- I think they're just moments. Just bites of time being sent back wholesale to -- whoever is experiencing them. But unfortunately we didn't get any inkling as to why. Hopefully eventually the dreams will tell us? I have to imagine we're doing this for a reason." She tips her head up to Micah, smile curling wider. "Or maybe I just finally lost it. Snapped. Went totally 'round the bend. Maybe it's all an elaborate prank."
At Maya's droop, Micah moves to stand nearer to her--at her side and slightly behind. He rests a hand on her shoulder, reassuring in its presence but not impeding movement. "Honey, I'm sure if you're doin' this? It's t'/help/ somebody. That there's some kinda danger comin' you're tryin' t'warn folks about. Or somethin' like that. /That's/ why you'd get tangled up in somethin' like this. I can read it in you pretty plainly." He sighs heavily, not wanting to go on to deliver the remainder of the news that it is necessary for him to give. "The other thing I had t'tell you about. If you're still lookin' at Dusk's dreams? Be /careful/. An' definitely don't go /through/ 'em for the time bein'. It ain't safe. Prob'ly...y'should be gettin' some regular-old rest at least for t'night, too. No Dreamwalkin'." His hand gives a gentle, reassuring squeeze.
"It was just April Fool's Day," Maya points out with light humour that doesn't stop the backwards lean of weight up into Micah's hand. "I just wanted to cheer people up." She clicks the gas off underneath the burner, turning to get out mugs and a small strainer so that she can strain the tea from the saucepain into a pair of mugs. "/Danger/, I don't know about. Do I look like a danger sort of person to you? I don't even own any proper danger shoes." She tells Micah this with a very small laugh, picking up one of the mugs and turning to press it into his hand, handle-side out since it's still rather hot.
The smile fades, though, given his heavy sigh. "-- Careful?" Her teeth sink briefly against her lip, then release it. "I was just in his dreams. They weren't -- pleasant. I didn't see any of his last night, though. What's wrong with them now?"
"I know, sugar, but y'don't gotta stretch yourself too thin in the doin' of it." Micah's hand rubs against Maya's back as she leans into the touch. "I dunno. Danger's just a theory. An'...even if it's that. Seems like you're tryin' t'get others t'help it. Maybe 'cause y'still ain't got the right shoes for it yourself." He smiles as he takes the mug. "Oh, thanks, hon, that smells amazin'." Holding the mug to his lips, he just breathes in its scent, rather than trying to drink the too-hot liquid. His smile fades, as well, as he is brought back to more pressing matters. "It ain't the dreams that're the danger. It's...wherever he is. Maya, Dusk got...kidnapped on Friday mornin'. By some real dangerous folks. We think they're takin' mutants t'somehow...steal their special abilities an' give 'em t'people without. But they're maimin' an' murderin' folks in the process. So y'can't...tip 'em off t'you. An' /certainly/ can't Dreamwalk t'where he is. 'Cause if they got hands on you..."
It's a good thing that Micah has taken the mug by this news, because Maya's hand drops, her eyes opening wide. Her lips part, just slightly, a very small gasp of breath pulled in. Her posture crumples slightly inward, her other hand lifting to press fingertips to her lips, and she -- does not, evidently, at first have any answer to this news. Just a wide-eyed sort of shock, head shaking in numb disbelief.
Micah sets the mug down on the counter, pulling Maya in to hold her close, supporting where she crumples in. "We're workin' on findin' 'im, hon. An' he's /tough/. He's dealt with trouble before an' sent it packin'. We're gonna get 'im back." He rocks very slightly, trying to soothe after...being the one to deliver such difficult news. "An' he's not alone. We don't think. He got taken along with another friend of ours at the same time."
"Ohhh --" When Maya finally does find her voice in answer to this it's only for a small moan, low and pained; it summons Ratri nearer to shove her nose in between them in a very presumptuous show of concern. Maya just leans in against Micah and the BigDog crutch, squeezing her eyes shut tight. "He is -- very tough," she manages. "His dream --" She swallows, curling her arms around Micah tight. She pulls in a shaky breath. "I hope it wasn't the future. But he's certainly tough."
Micah's eyes scrunch closed a moment at that pained sound, briefly unable to reply. He reaches up with one hand to stroke Maya's hair. "Oh, honey. We're...gonna do everythin' we can for 'im. This group...we kinda. It's what they do. Help folks as get into bad an' dangerous situations. We just gotta /find/ 'im first." A heavy sigh breathes through his lips. "We got /one/ lead that I'm gonna investigate t'morrow. After that. I don't know. Is it possible that y'might be able t'figure anythin' from 'is dreams? Careful-like. /After/ you've gotten some rest. Without puttin' yourself in these folks' reach."
Maya curls her arms around Micah, wrapping in tight and squeezing close. She gives her head a small nod, breathing slowing to pulling more evenly. "I can try. I can watch. Hopefully get something useful. /Maiming/ and /murdering/, gods above, Micah, they can't -- not /Dusk/." Her fingers press in hard against his back. "I'll watch."
"Thank you, honey. We got /so many/ people on this. I'm goin' m'self. T'try an' get some clues outta these folks. We're gonna rescue 'im, honey." Micah's arms hold tight, trying to somehow make things better by sheer force of will and /presence/. "Sor--Apologies for havin' t'ruin your evenin' an' give y'more worries. Don't nobody need more worries. But. Thank you. For whatever help y'can give. For Dusk."
Maya draws in another -- rather sniffly -- breath, before stepping back. She gives Micah a smile, quick and warm, picking up her mug of tea and curling both hands around it. "No. No, thank you. For letting me know. It's better than not. And you're right, we'll -- find him. Fix it." She glances down at the tea, then back up at Micah. "Will you stay, a little bit? I know it's late, but –"
Micah places a gentle kiss to Maya's forehead as she moves away. "Of course, honey. I gotta go home sometime t'night. But I can definitely be around for a few hours first. Whatever y'need, just let me know. S'the least I could do."