Then there's light, and a floating sensation. Holding tight to someone who is clutching back even tighter. Awkward movements from both, trying to move into a more comfortable position without losing grip of the other and floating off in opposite directions Success eventually, followed by soft giggling. Soft lips pressed against hers, then --
-- warm, flickering light from a fire. Softness of a fur rug beneath her side, two arms snugly wrapped around her. Quiet words whispered in her ear, a small smile forming on her face. Something moves into view out in the corner of her eye --
-- flash of a knife against her arm, a trickle of blood. It stings for a brief moment, but doesn't hurt; oddly, the predatory smile coming from the woman sitting on her lap feels somehow... comforting. Then she grins and moves in close --
-- the cool sensation of metal around one of her fingers, a hand gripping her wrist warmly as the object slides back from the tip of her finger - a gold-and-silver ring. A smile from the owner of the gripping hand, before she pushes her back against the sofa with a long kiss. Again, something visible in the corner of her eye, a person maybe --
-- running water. Back up against a wall, pinned there by something warm. A face obscured by a black mat of wet hair. Brush it out of the way with a hand, find a pair of brown eyes staring back. Can almost see her own reflection. A hand gently grips hers --
-- a carefully-crafted necklace of sapphires and rubies hangs in trembling hands, the jewels glittering as they move in the light. Her vision is slightly blurry - tears, perhaps - and her attempts to put the necklace around her neck are made difficult by her shaking fingers. A pair of helping hands assists, then wipes the tears away. Once more, something - clearly a someone - out of the corner of her eye is visible; black hair and silvery eyes with pale skin, their mouth moving slightly without making any sound. By the time she reacts and moves her eyes to get a better look, those brown eyes are too close for her to see anything but her own reflection again --
-- a small cutting sensation on her chest. Red facial markings glow back at her, as the woman perched on her lap carefully moves a small blade against her skin. A small diamond pendant, previously transparent, now shines a bright scarlet. The woman gives the pendant an appraising look, then fastens it around her neck. A familiar predatory smile before she leans closer, eyes alight --
-- curled up in a warm bath, soft giggles and quiet whispers; a gentle swat to the nose and a nip at the ear --
-- spoonfuls of homemade soup from a steaming bowl, a content and loving smile; there's that other person again in the background --
-- sitting on the couch, snugly curled up under a blanket while laughing at the absurdity of a holoreel --
-- arms wrapped around her middle, holding tight --
-- those brown eyes again; a playful glimmer visible in them before she's grabbed by the chin and pulled close, the words on the tip of her tongue silenced by a hungry kiss --
-- and then it's dark again.
Morwen. That's enough. No more.
No, no, no, I want to go back...
I said that's enough, Morwen. You've been in here for nearly a week. I'm not letting you hide in here any longer.
But I'm happy there... send me back... please...
I said no. Time to come back to the real world, Morwen.
I don't want to!
And I don't care. It's time to wake up.
No, no, no, no...
She becomes aware of a rushing sound as the capsule starts returning control to her own senses. Seconds later, dumped unceremoniously onto the floor, she coughs and sputters as her lungs try to clear the remaining pod fluid from her respiratory system before she curls up into a ball where she is, sobbing.
I want to go back...
No. You need to clean out your system and get out into the real world, with real people. You're not doing yourself or your crew any favors by being in this state. You are going to get up, you are going to wash up, and you are going to go out and interact with people. I don't care where you go, but I will make sure that you do go somewhere, forcibly if I must.
I don't want to... I want to go back inside...
Most certainly not. When she asked me to take care of you, it didn't include letting you stew in a narcotic-induced haze in your pod for a week.
You set it up for me...
Yes, I did, and I'm starting to regret that decision. Count yourself lucky that nobody outside of myself, the CMO and your capsule technicians know about it, because it could get your ass thrown out of corp if people knew you were flying under the influence. We don't even know what side effects this might have yet to cause for you. Get up. Now.
She stays there for several minutes, still sobbing, before she tries sitting up, hugging her knees close.
A good start. Let's go. It's not far. We can go to the Keep or the Piano if you'd like.
I don't want to go out...
Morwen, do you think she would want you to be like this?
She sits there silently.
Then let's go. I don't have time for your moping, and honestly neither do you. She needs this... let her try and fix herself.
I need her...
I know you do, but she needs this right now. You need to be patient... things will hopefully get better and fix themselves at some point.
A small nod, and a sniffle.
Now, let's go and get you washed up. You're a mess.
Another small nod, and she cautiously climbs to her feet, one hand resting against a wall for balance.
One step at a time. Maybe having to learn how to walk again will save me the trouble of having to convince you not to do this again myself.
Wobbly steps forward.
Shut up... not funny.
Once you're sitting down with other people, I'll let you be for a bit, but you are my priority right now, okay?
A few more steps forward, then she closes her eyes, nodding as she walks. Those words she understood.