2010-06-23: Relapse



Date: June 23, 2010


Once More. With Feeling.


Tracy's Building

The hour is a late one. Tracy doesn't have much of a list of things to do to keep her distracted, particularly late at night, these days; so when she's plagued by the inability to (or refusal to) sleep, she finds herself in the hallway outside her apartment, taking up some errand she didn't accomplish during the day that is still possible past midnight.

Striding slowly from her locked door to the elevator, her eyes are on her phone, for the most part, going over a list. Wardrobe tonight, for Tracy, is casual: a pair of dark jeans, a neat belt, a white lace shirt and grey cardigan with quarter-length sleeves that's almost too warm to wear. She already seems to be frowning at the humid night by the time she reaches the elevator and thumbs the down button. She steps into the empty box and she hits the button for the ground floor before the doors even close.


The Elevator hasn't been moving long enough to actually have made it to the Ground Floor. There's a reason for that. A reason that means there's another stop that this particular elevator is going to have to make. Glancing up at the Elevator will show that the doors are opening on the 13th floor.

What a lucky number.

As usual with this kind of action, the doors open and another able bodied person gets on. The whistle coming from the newest entry to the elevator is distinctly masculine in nature, in some capable capacity. How anyone is capable of determining a masculine whistle is beside the point. It just is.
Anyway, the masculine hand to match the whistle reaches out to press the Close Doors button, which should assist with the Elevator continuing on its way faster. Shouldn't it?

"I like your sweater."

The elevator doesn't have far to go, and again, it's late — when it starts to go in decidedly the wrong direction to the 13th floor, Tracy is mildly taken by surprise and glances up. Little is thought of it, and she studies her phone again — until the door opens. She looks up.

Even the sharp sense of suspicion she's been building over the past month and the finely tuned mistrust in general she's been building for longer than that don't prepare her for what she sees.

A stark contrast to the casual whistler, Tracy's eyes go wide and immediately fill with ice (figuratively, for now), her whole body going stiff in a sudden preparation for fight or flight. Scowling outright, as cold as her eyes are, they're intensely passionate in their hatred. "Mm, I knew it," she murmurs through half-clenched teeth, indulging in a tension-filled smirk that holds some warning. "I knew you were still alive pulling strings. She lunges, reaching for the OPEN button. "Stay in this elevator and I swear you won't be stepping out."

Ivory just continues to whistle, even while the Tracy is doing her freakout thing. In fact, he just kind of leans back against the wall that he's chosen to help hold up, watching for a moment as Tracy's just a little bit too slow to keep the doors from closing. Hitting that button doesn't do anything because the elevator is already on its way to the next stop! Whichever direction that may happen to be!

"Excuse me?" Ivory seems to be playing it cool. Or at least, playing it innocent. "Do I know you?" He does manage to look truly confused. As if he doesn't know whether or not if he should be hurt by this woman's accusations or something. In fact, he just kind of stares at her. For a long time. A stare that becomes more intense as he continues to try and remain in his calm body language state.

Uh oh. Why is he smiling like that? And why the hell is he holding a ring of keys?

Just make them do what I want! And since I'd be doing what you want, it's like you'r emaking them do what you want!

Tracy's would-be deadly stare catches on his as she juts her chin out in serious aggravation over being locked into the elevator — and Ivory's ploy at innocence. "You know exactly who I am," she all but hisses. She turns, facing him exactly. Ivory's is a face she can never forget. In fact, most people who meet him can't forget his face — that's how this works, right? He gets into your head, into your emotions? As she stares him down, she summons up her already considerable willpower, determined to remain steel against whatever the man has up his sleeve.

It starts to get very cold in the elegant elevator, suddenly frigid enough to see one's breath. On the wall behind Tracy, a rapid spread of frost spider-webs out and crackles its way up to the ceiling, down the floor, quickly, quickly across the walls and door, fitting to turn the elevator into an icebox.

The icy exploit is easy for Tracy — usually. Ice Age with a thought. Her focus of will is strong, here and now, but it takes extra. It's a fight, and the strange exertion to keep her focus is painted all over her knitted brow and determined but incredulous features, eyes on Ivory. Her skin starts to sweat — cold sweat. Before the subzero elevator can do any damage, her eyes go a little hazy.

Ivory has to blink a little bit. He's actually looking like he could be completely and utterly out of his own element. His eyes go nice and wide at the sight of the frost that's taking over the elevator. He just kind of reaches back to brace himself against the wall… and put some space between him and the freak.

"Whoa. Okay! Hey Lady, I don't know what kinda' stuff you're on but… you're scarin' me. And…" He holds up a hand, slowly, to point at the wall behind Tracy. "… what the hell!" He's definitely not used to seeing this kind of craziness happen in his normal, human world. He's totally getting freaked out here. And there's ice everywhere!

"Look! I'm sorry, okay! I was just trying to get downstairs to my office! Could you just stop whatever you're doing! Please!" This poor man is begging. Could it be possible that he's not whomever this crazy blonde thinks he is?! Looks can be deceiving, can't they? "Just let me out! I'll catch another elevator!"

Make her feel like she's going crazy, why don't you. Except Tracy is sure. "No," she insists, fully committed to her vendetta… in intent. In action, she has to blink as if through a brain fog. "You're Ivory Wynn!"

The walls get a burst of deep freeze again with Tracy's determined insistence; the elevator creaks in protest, prompting a screeching noise above them inside the mechanisms that keep it moving. The screeching comes to an abrupt, frozen halt and so does the elevator.

Unfortunately, so does the freezing. The patterns of frost slowly start to creep back from whence they came. Tracy, too, backs up into the wall. Her anger is fading but she's fighting every minute of it. Regardless of the man's seeming naivete, she knows he's to blame. "Fair's— fair," she forces out, stepping intently away from the wall again and pointing at Ivory. "I stopped." Not of her own will. Details. "Your turn. I know what you're … " Tracy takes another step closer, and another, magnetized. Trying to look away. She doesn't. The hate in her eyes is seeping out, replaced with that cloudy haze of something softer. Her voice lowers, breathy. "… doing to me … "

Ivory is confused as all hell. And when the elevator comes to a freezing halt, he just kind of freaks out even more. "What. Are you. Talking about." He's really trying to understand this blonde woman right now. "What did you do?!" He looks around, as if there's going to be some kind of miraculous answer to his questions written on the wall. "I'm not doing ANYTHING!"
When the woman starts to head in his direction, he keeps both of his hands up. "Okay, look. I'm the new landlord. And I ain't one to discriminate. Just because you're kinda' freaky with the making ice and all, I ain't gonna' kick you out. But if you touch me…" A threat he doesn't want to make, but he can't help himself. He's just trying to keep safe. And with the elevator frozen, well, that doesn't allow him anywhere to run from the freaky crazy woman.

"If you just calm down, maybe we can get to the bottom of this. Whatever 'this' is." Poor guy. All he wanted to do was go to his office. Something's telling him he bought the wrong damn building!

Yeah right! Tracy wavers a bit — literally, from side to side, as though unsteady — and shakes her head with an abrupt toss of her hair in an attempt to focus and cut through the fonder feelings that are taking over against her most rational of thoughts. She goes in and out of her haze, leaving her expression … confused; unsure.

Tracy does wind up focusing — on Ivory. Studying his face searchingly, she hunts out signs of recognition she knows must be there somewhere; ignoring his pleas, barely even seeming to hear anything but his voice, the woman advances in close, disregarding the raised hands, and takes ahold of Ivory's shirt collar and jerks it forward, as if to hold the "landlord" in place while she studies him. Her intent investigation wanes, somewhere around there: dreamily, blue eyes move back and forth as she looks into the face of a man who is supposed to be dead.

The elevator is barely cold at all anymore. Instead, it's getting warmer and warmer in here…

Ivory doesn't know what to do at this point. Granted, the elevator is warming up, but he's being accosted by a blonde woman in a cardigan right now! He… is finding himself unable to really resist the closeness that is happening at this particular moment. She is, after all, gripping him up something nice. "Uh…" He's stammering a bit, almost sweating? He doesn't even know what to do at this point. He's just trying to survive. "Hey, uh, if you're worried about me telling anyone about your little trick? I swear I won't say a word. I wouldn't do that." He looks back into Tracy's eyes. Deep. His gaze as powerful as it ever was.

"… Trust me."

Yeah, that's about the time that he brings his hands up to plant them on the shoulders of the woman that's standing in front of him. He doesn't know why, but he doesn't want her to get farther away. Not right now. Not while he can look her in her eyes and try to figure out what she could possibly be trying to pull here. Humoring her might make the elevator start moving again. Then he can get the hell away from this crazy person.

It's like a switch goes off in Tracy's mind. As she looks deep into those enthralling eyes, her gaze clears up. It's not the suspicious focus that's behind the clouds; it's a recognizable, intense want. It goes beyond simple affection into something more deep-seated, digging up old, familiar patterns of desire. She can feel it all rushing back, feelings conflicting with thought, thought flowing with the feelings instead. "I… I did— trust … you— I d— "

The former advisor of this ex-senator only moves her eyes from him to glance at her hand on his shirt — coincidentally, its then that the elevator lurches and starts to move again. The sudden movement launches Tracy at Ivory with one high-heeled stumble and she winds up face-to-face with him literally. Their heads touch. Their lips could touch with barely a movement. Heart racing, skin hot, she looks back up into his eyes…

And then hers flicker shut. Body and mind just completely overwhelmed by this … relapse — and having fought so hard against it — Tracy just sees black. She starts to fall.

Ivory grins.

It's almost as if this entire thing was planned, considering the way he's smiling at this particular moment in time. Hands move quickly, arms extending and immediately working to catch Tracy as she goes down. There's some strength that he suddenly has, making sure to lift and scoop her back up into his arms, before she can fully collide with the floor.

Thanks to the elevator being wonky and restarting on its path, it has managed to head back down towards the floor that Tracy initially got on.


When the doors open, there is Ivory Wynn, standing and holding the unconscious Tracy Strauss in his arms. Once again, protecting her from the evils of the world and the dangers that threaten her well being.

"There's no place like… home."

Ivory's keys jingle as he steps off the elevator, grinning the entire time, letting the doors close slowly behind him.

* * *

…Trust me…

With a start and a gasp, Tracy wakes up. Her hands, on either side of her, find mattress, and she launches into sitting within the span of a second of wakefulness. It's dim, but not pitch — there's morning light drifting in from somewhere. Somewhere is her bedroom, she quickly realizes with relief, and takes a normal breath. It's not quite as relaxing as intended.

Bringing a hand to her forehead, she looks down at the white nightclothes she doesn't remember changing into last night. No blankets; they've been thrown off. She must have been … awfully tired. With a still tired, dismissive roll of her eyes, Tracy lowers back down onto the pillow, hand unmoving from her brow as she stares restlessly at the ceiling.

These hyper-realistic dreams — they have got to stop.

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