Are You Afraid of the Dark?

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Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Post by Mouse on Fri Apr 01, 2016 1:08 am

Are You Afraid of The Dark?
Just After The Return from The Woglinde
Mouse & Colibri


Deep. Consuming. Complete.

Oh, there were lights here, sure, but they were far off and small. They flecked the surface in pinpoints,
from its point of view, looking like stars in a child's drawing of the night. Only these pinpricks were
colder than stars. Duller.

More stupid.

They were far too small, besides, or too far off to be of any interest to the Darkness. Still, it watched

Things writhed. Horrendous creatures slithering and flapping and squelching as they screeched. It was
all so tiring.

As the Darkness watched, a pinprick flickered. And then it grew.

Ah, pain. Incredible, wonderful pain. And it was coming closer.

The writhing horrors became louder, more active. They began pushing. However, while the horrors
lashed and grabbed for whatever was close, no matter the size, the Darkness continued to watch that
growing light. It was just so warm. So welcoming.

The pain-filled light came closer, and closer. Soon it began to pulse, and the Darkness made its move,
using the path those writhing, idiotic horrors had been opened to, and slipped silently through the

Mouse was waiting when the last drop party came back aboard. She wasn't crew, so she was confined
to the hallway outside Main Hangar, the door guarded by two of the lithe, dapple-grey-furred Felicias.
The screams of the Marines that had fought their way down the spine of the Woglinde still rang in
her ears and the ghastly frozen-horror imagery of them being dismembered or blown into bloody meat still
floated in the dark behind her eyelids, and her fear for Colibri had grown steadily in the last hour as contact
with her team had remained steadfastly out of reach.

When she saw the grim-faced, battered assault team climb the drag lines back into the hold and caught
the flash of scarlet hair amongst them, her heart soared. But then the circumstances registered, the way
Colibri hung in Thalia's grip, the discolored patches all over her skin, the awful mewling that came
from her throat, and something made of acid and ice uncoiled in her stomach.

"!" Mouse screamed, pushing past the Felicias. She crossed the hangar at a dead run, her boots
slamming on the metal deck and her grey nanoweave whispering as she sprinted to Col's side. "Col, baby, I'm here,
its okay, you're gonna be okay." The words spilled from her lips in a torrent and she reached out to take Col from Thalia.
There was ice in her hair, and on her teeth, and oh gods, in her eyes, and Mouse thought she was going to be
sick, even as she told herself that Col would heal, she always did, she was going to be fine...

Mouse looked up as Thalia refused to surrender the badly-damaged gunslinger, her grey eyes flashing.
Thalia glanced at her, then turned to look back across the hangar, and Mouse grated, "Give. Her. To.
Me." Thalia didn't respond, didn't even look at Mouse, and something inside Mouse snapped. Who were
these people to say what Col needed?! They didn't know her! They couldn't! They weren't there each day and
night, always working, always waiting, always watching!

Mouse didn't even realized she'd moved until later. A single blow, not even a real punch, just a
hyperspeed extension of her fist, wrapped around the reassuringly heavy weight of a nearby armorer's
wrench caught Thalia just behind the ear. She staggered, as much out of surprise as pain, and she
dropped Col right into Mouse's waiting embrace. Thalia moved, bringing back an arm, and something
writhed under her skin as if trying to break free but a hand on her shoulder stopped the taller woman,
and the captain squeezed Thalia's upraised arm gently and shook her head.

Mouse didn't watch the interplay, having no time for anything that wasn't Colibri. Gathering her up,
Mouse vanished back across the Hangar, and only someone who had seen her move in haste before
could have said that she was faster now than she had ever been as she crossed the vast, empty space
and disappeared down the corridor, heading for her cabin.


There was just so much light.

Blinding. Incomprehensible.

But it moved...and there was sound...and most of all, there was pain.

Fear. Anger. Dread. Loathing.

It was bliss.

This was why this door had been the best one. The emotions swirled like smoke, and the Darkness
breathed it in hungrily.

Soon, the moving light became shapes.

Colibri shuddered in pain, stiff, blackening fingers trying futilely to grip the one holding her. Her
mouth opened and a rasping breath exited as she tried to speak, only to cause her to cringe and wince. It
felt like someone had throat-fucked her with a knife, and her body felt like she had fallen into a vat of

"Shhhh, just hold on a moment longer, solnyshko." Mouse cooed, her soft, gentle tones completely at odds
with the gnawing fear and murderous rage warring for control of her expression. She took twists and turns at a
speed no ordinary mortal could match, faster than she'd ever moved before, and when she got to her cabin she
snarled at the door, which obediently slid aside as it recognized her voice even in the wordless sound.

Inside the warm dimness of her room, Mouse crossed straight to the bed and lay Colibri down on the
covers. She needed to get the icy clothes off of Col before her regeneration kicked in and bonded them
to Col's body. It had happened before. Drawing a slender blade from a sheath on her thigh, Mouse
didn't fool around with buckles or knots. She cut away the fastenings of everything but Colibri's coat;
the laces to her corset and her boots, the belt of her shorts, even the wristclasp of her gloves and simply
peeled everything off of her and threw it aside, uncaring about the damage.

Stepping hurriedly out of her own frosted-over armor, Mouse sat down on the bed with her
shoulderblades pressed up against the wall and drew Colibri to her, pressing Col's back against her
chest and wrapping herself around the frostbitten woman, drawing another pained sound from a frozen
throat as her decompression-bruised muscles were jostled. Mouse knew Col would be screaming in
agony if she could by now, but she also knew that Col wasn't going to die, so her incredible healing
wouldn't tick over without Col pushing herself into it.

"Col, baby, I know its hard to think right now," Mouse started, "but you gotta remember that you can
fix this. You gotta push yourself a little, 'kay? I know its scary and difficult, but its the only way you're
gonna feel better, and I don't want to have to push for you." Mouse held her tighter, trying to get
through the pain to remind Colibri that she could heal herself and bracing for the writhing, screaming
process she knew was coming, and fearing that Col wasn't going to be able to start it herself. If she
didn't, Mouse would have to do it for her, and that meant hurting Col, when she was already clearly at
her limit.

Colibri wanted to cry. She wanted to sob and scream. But her throat wouldn't let her, her lungs burned,
her eyes stung horribly and were even more painful when she closed them. Someone was saying
something. Something was warm. Too warm. Mouse's body was burning her! She just wanted it to

Push her.

Colibri shuddered again, her muscles twitching as she tried to sit up and get away from that burning
heat, but she just couldn't move.

Push her!

The idea bubbled up from the base of Mouse's mind, somewhere in the recesses of the folds of thought.
But it was clear, and seemed to coincide with the others surrounding it.

Mouse tensed, unsure, and her grip on Colibri tightened as the other woman flopped like a landed fish.
She didn't want to hurt Col! Maybe she'd listen if Mouse just talked a little more. It would be okay. She
was always okay!

But as she looked at the blackened tips of Col's fingers and toes, Mouse knew that this time, it wasn't
going to be alright. Col could do a lot of things, but regrowing extremities wasn't one of them and if
Mouse didn't do something right now, Col was going to start losing pieces of herself.

Mouse wracked her brain. The stardust! She thought suddenly. It was a stimulant, and the shock to
Col's system in the state she was in would force the regen to start.

Push her!

Mouse was reaching for the little white patches in her top drawer when she paused, considering.

Then, slowly, she lowered her hand.

No. That wasn't the answer. Why give her more of the drug that was slowly killing her? Pain would
suffice. It wasn't like she was going to suffer it for long anyway, Mouse reasoned. She'd heal whatever
Mouse did to her only a few seconds after she did it, and then go right on healing until she was whole
and healthy once more. She didn't need to use the stardust. She just need to hurt Colibri a bit.

For the barest of fleeting instants, Mouse's lips curled up into a smile, pleased with her reasoning. This
was a better way, she knew, now that she'd actually stopped and thought instead of reacting like she
always did. Colibri would understand, if she even realized what Mouse had done.

Steeling herself, her grip on Colibri almost painfully tight with one arm and both thighs, Mouse
reached over the edge of the bed and found her armor by touch, feeling around until her fingers passed
over the solid black cylinder of a compact neurolash baton. Mouse thumbed it open, and there was a
low, ominous hum as it came to life, its last five centimeters glowing faintly as the tool of torture,
brutality, and self-defense came to life.

Steeling herself, Mouse raised it, admiring its blue-green glow in the dimness as she brought it over
Colibri. Then, clenching her muscles tightly in preparation of the first touch of the baton to Colibri's
skin and mouthing the command that turned on the room's sonic privacy field, Mouse brought it down
and pressed the baton's tip hard against Colibri's navel.

Colibri screamed in agony, body jolting and spasming. Suddenly, everything went still. Col was limp,
eyes unseeing, her chest unmoving.

Then, eyes fluttered, chest heaved, lungs filling sharply with air.

Her body rolled like a wave in the ocean, her arms sliding up to cling to one another, her knees lifting,
thighs brushing, her head tilting back as she let loose a lusty moan still raspy from the damage the
vacuum of space had done. Pleasure flowed through her body as it repaired itself, but the pain still
remained. She still burned with every movement, skin stung with every shift, lungs felt as if they were
on fire and sending daggers through her throat with each uncontrollable moan, her body itched and
twinged as it stitched itself back together even while her brain was hit again and again with pleasure.

It was infuriating.

Tears streamed down her face in her frustration and anger, hatred filling her though she had no idea
who to direct it toward.

Even through this, somewhere, something deep within Mouse made the silver-haired woman smile.
It was a chilling little smile, a smile of satisfaction and something else. Victory? Pleasure? Mouse
couldn't see it, and wouldn't have cared if she could. She held tight to Colibri as she spasmed, gasping
from a mouth twisted in anger, tears streaming down her face as the degradation her ability to recover
always forced on her as a side effect.

She hates this. She'll stop it as soon as she can.

The thought wasn't alien to Mouse, she knew Colibri despised herself when she got in such dire straits as to
voluntarily use anything that her former masters had given her, but before she'd always nodded
and gone along with Col, letting her cut the process short and heal the rest of the way naturally once
she was out of immediate danger.

This time was different.

Mouse looked curiously at the wand. Was it that she had an easy means of pushing Colibri to continue
that changed her thinking? Or maybe it was just the knowledge of her own hurts, and how much she
wished there was a magical way to simply knit her wounds closed. Colibri might hate her if she
realized what was going on, but she'd thank Mouse later, Mouse knew. A few minutes of self-loathing,
however bad they seemed at the time, were a pittance compared to a week healing decompression and
hypothermia damage.

Still holding Colibri tightly, Mouse brought the wand to Col's ribs and brushed it lightly against her
skin, forcing the healing to continue.

Colibri cried out again, a sound different from the moans that she had been uttering, a sound more
tormented as a fresh pain entered her senses. The pleasure that had just barely begun to ebb picked up
again, more of her body itching and tingling as the frost bite began to heal.

The redhead looked down at her hands, watching the black recede and disappear...but there was
something else she recognized. That hand holding her body, the one holding the baton...that nailpolish.

She knew them.

Yes. Came the soft, comforting thoughts from the recesses of Mouse's mind, This is what should be done. What needs to be done.

Fresh tears began to tumble down Colibri's cheeks, and she curled her body, turning herself over, hands
clinging to Mouse's waist as her head rested on her stomach even as she continued to be tossed by the
waves of ecstasy and torment.

Mouse knew what she had to do and while she took a cold, vicious satisfaction in keeping Colibri away
from the stardust and a positive joy in seeing her so much more healthy than only a few minutes ago,
neither of those things made it easy, precisely, to torture her friend. For all that it was coming more
naturally than Mouse ever could have dreamed.

Mouse's grip lessened fractionally, and the gunmetal-haired woman slowly relaxed, some of the tension
ebbing away as Colibri clung to her. She still looked bad, but she was probably out of the woods...

Again. Just once more, and you shall have her back in total.

...but at the same time, their worlds had just been turned on their ears. As much as she hated to do it,
the ship needed Colibri healthy. Mouse needed Colibri healthy. She needed that irrepressible, flippant,
wonderful girl back. Mouse knew it was selfish, but she also knew that Colibri was better at coping with pain
than she was, and if she didn't hurt Colibri enough to bring her all the way back, there might not be anything
left of either of them when the dust settled.

Mouse stroked Col's hair, murmuring soothing noises and teasing the rose-red locks for a moment as,
just out of Colibri's view, the wand came up a final time. Just before it came down some impulse, a fear
of Colibri's reaction perhaps, drove Mouse to grip the back of Col's neck tightly, holding her head and
shoulders in place as she slammed the wand across Colibri's back.

Yet another cry of pain was torn from the woman, a sound that ended in sobs before the moans began
again, her nails digging hard into Mouse's sides.

But Colibri's body was almost done.

Finally, the moans subsided, Col's grip released and her arms wrapped around herself as she let her
head fall to Mouse's thigh at the joint of her hip. She panted and shuddered, recovering.

“Now, my dear Colibri,” Mouse's voice above her was strange, velvet soft, and holding the lightest hint of
some distant accent, “doesn't that just feel so much better?”

Col ground her teeth. Her fingers curled, nails digging painfully into her own flesh briefly before
releasing to push herself up into a sitting position. The motion was slow, even for her normal

movements, and her head hung enough to hide her expression.

Suddenly, her hand came up, her palm meeting Mouse's cheek with force and continuing past. When
Mouse looked to her again, she would see Col's pretty face twisted into a look of anger and betrayal.
And then Colibri was turning away from her friend, scooting to the foot of the bed to curl into a ball on
her side.  “You made me use it,” came the quiet, trembling voice from the shivering ball, “I can't
believe you fucking made me use it...”

Mouse worked her jaw for a second, hearing it pop and wincing before looking back at Col, relief and
satisfaction warring with anger at being hit over helping Colibri and a deep-seated shame at how she'd
manipulated her friend's body into betraying her mind.

Mouse sighed. "Yes, Col, I did." She said heavily. Her steely hair brushed her shoulders with a
curiously sensuous feeling, and without even realizing she'd begun twirling the now-quiescent baton,
the slender cylinder of the hilt gliding as easily between her fingers as the oiled bullets she normally
practiced with, now that the baton's length was retracted.

Crossing her legs, Mouse brushed her hair out of her face with her free hand and sighed again. "I know
you hate it, solnyshko, I really do, but you couldn't see yourself. You were going to lose your fingers,
you couldn't speak, honey, your eyes were frozen!" She shook her head slowly, and Colibri could see the
resigned expression on her face in the mirror opposite the bed. "I couldn't leave you like that, not when we
don't know if you could heal all of that damage. So I...did what needed to be done." She paused for a moment,
then gingerly leaned forward to touch Colibri's shoulder with two fingers as she said, "You know I wouldn't have
done it if you didn't need it, Colibri."

The ball that was Colibri tightened. "Yeah," she said after a moment, her voice still quiet though not
quite as shaky, "I know."  There was a pause, a moment of tension before, "But ya didn't have ta go that

Colibri's hand tightened around the throw blanket Mouse had comforted her with not too long ago, and
she pulled it over herself with the sort of finality that stated whatever conversation they were having
was now over.

Mouse sighed and stood up, unfolding gracefully. She padded over to the dresser and pulled out a pair
of figure-hugging black pants of some stretchy synthetic and a tight grey t-shirt and pulled both on,
then buckled a gunbelt across her slender hips. The stun baton went into a small sheath and a 7.5mm
automatic clipped to the holster frogs. As she put herself back together, she opined, "Why don't you at
least get comfortable? No need to curl up into a ball at the foot of the bed when there's a perfectly good
pillow and sheet."

Mouse didn't look at Col again until she'd slipped on grey crosstrainers and tied her hair back with a
small scarlet ribbon. When she did, her heart sank and she chewed her lip nervously, wondering if it
would do more damage to speak or stay silent, to stay or go. Colibri didn't like being alone, but she
hated people seeing her when she was "weak," too, and right now her anger at Mouse probably kept her
from being exempt from that latter shame.

But Mouse couldn't stay silent. Tentatively, she walked over to Colibri's side and knelt down, stroking
Col's shoulder but careful not to stray off the blanket. She knelt silently for a few seconds and then
whispered, "I'm sorry, solnyshko. I'll leave you alone for a little while. I promise not too be gone too long,
but stay for as long as you want, please." She leaned down to kiss Col's shoulder through the
blanket before standing and turning for the door. She paused in the doorway, then went back to her
dresser and pulled out a small bottle full of little blue pills and shook one out. Disappearing into the
bathroom for a moment, she returned with a glass and set both on the bedside table. Col would know
the soothing tranquilizer when she saw it.

Colibri turned her face away from Mouse when she knelt in front of her, though to do this she had to
bury her face into the comforter on the mattress in a rather childish action. Her head shifted again when
she felt and heard Mouse move away, watching her numbly through her reflection in the mirror.

When she spotted the blue pill, Col relaxed slightly, though pulled the blanket up over her head, her
voice slightly muffled as a result. “Where are you going...?”

Mouse stopped, but didn't turn. "I don't know. Medical, maybe. Lots of wounded down there. Or to
check the cutter we recovered." She shrugged. "Does it matter? I don't want to hurt you any more than I
already have, and right now the best way for me to do that is to let you take the drugs, take the bed, and
crash out." She glanced over her shoulder with a sad little half-smile. "Don't worry, I'll be here when
you wake up."

Another pause, longer this time, and then what sounded like an affirmative grunt before the blanket-
lump that was Colibri shifted, wiggled and twitched. By the way the form grew smaller, Mouse would
know that Col had just turned herself onto her knees and curled even further into a ball than before.
However, this was accompanied by a light sigh, and she could tell the woman was beginning to relax.

Mouse stared sadly at Colibri for a moment, her mind swirling with everything she wanted to- but
couldn't- say. Finally, she shook her head and murmured, "Goodnight, solnyshko." Then she was gone,
disappearing in a rustle of fabric and a swirl of silver hair, leaving Col alone with her thoughts.

Colibri waited until she heard the door latch shut, until the foot steps faded, before she finally moved.
The blanket was pulled away from her head, looking up at the closed door as if to be sure she was
alone, before inching up the length of the bed to the pillow. She slunk beneath the rest of the sheets,
snuggling in and she had actually gotten rather comfortable before she realized she still needed to take
that pill...

But she was just so exhausted. She was usually tired after such an event, but this time she was
particularly so, for some strange reason. Still, the pill would put her in a deep enough sleep that she
wouldn't remember most of those terrible nightmares.

Col gave a sigh, eyes heavy. She'd take it in a minute...she just wanted to rest her eyes a moment...

Before she knew it, Colibri had drifted off into a deep, deep sleep.

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