2007-11-09: Summer In November


Kory_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: A lesson in dream walking brings summer in November— for at least two people.

Date It Happened: November 9, 2007

Summer In November

1230 - East Centennial Apts - Kory's Apartment

The phone call to get a meeting place didn't take too long. Peter didn't mind the suggestion of her own apartment, either, though there was a sound of surprise when she mentioned exactly where she lived. After placing an order, he goes down a couple floors, walks over and knocks on the door. The fact he doesn't need to buzz up or anything might be some kind of a clue as to the first words out of his mouth once the door is opened, "Did you know we live in the same apartment building?" Of ALL the buildings in New York.

"…No!" Kory exclaims, astonished. And then she can't help but laugh, because it's ironic, and silly, and coincidental. "I only just moved here a few weeks ago, though, and I hadn't put a lot of effort into meeting my neighbors," she admits. "Please come in, make yourself comfortable. And I mean that as the first part of the teaching. Sitting funny and getting a Charlie Horse because somebody's dream was really interesting? Not fun."

"Yeah, I'm in 1407," Peter says, unaware that his apartment number happens to be a reference to the great Xavier Mansion in X-Men. Go figure. He does move inside, letting the door close behind him, and locking it if she doesn't before moving away to sit down. "I've lived here a couple years now— but I'm rarely home these days. Especially the last month. I've been staying in my apartment more the last week." Since he got healed. "Should make doing these lessons a little easier on us— get more practice in until we both get the hang of it."

"Seriously?" Kory grins. She knows what he's getting for Christmas. She lets him lock the door, delighted at his urban manners. "This will make things easier. I did manage to make acquaintance with the couple one apartment above me. They work really early shifts, so they should be calling it a night inside of another 45 minutes to an hour." She gestures to the ceiling, absently, as she describes them. "Haven't visited their dreams much, except to help them sleep through random hallway noise, so this'll be interesting."

Though there's a planned Christmas present in the future, Peter remains oblivious. Despite having telepathy— which he doesn't often use. From his seat, he looks up at the ceiling, nodding carefully. "So you can pick who's dreams you enter? How close do they have to be? Would we be able to enter the dreams of someone in— say— another part of the city? Or even further? Do you enter the dreams of people in England or anything like that?" Since they have time, he might as well ask questions, it would seem.

"I can," Kory explains. "But I don't have anywhere near that much range. More than one floor of this apartment building might be too far. I usually can't reach much further than the length of a city bus or a subway car." She wrinkles her nose. "I don't suppose though that I couldn't extend the range with practice, too. Wow. World-spanning dreamwalking. What a trip that would be." She brings a couple bottles of water to set on the coffee table. "So we don't dehydrate."

"Should've figured you had a smaller range— One of the many abilities I have allows me to read minds," Peter explains from where he sits, looking up at the ceiling again, a hint of disappointment creasing his forehead. "But I can really only read the minds of people I can see." The amount of abilities he has could go on for a while, though, so he leaves it at that. Little does he know that he just made another Xavier reference. "It'll make doing this more difficult if we all have to be in the same small area, but— we'll work it out if we can't increase the range with time." The water is nodded at. "So you dehydrate when you do this as well as get hungry?"

"Well, dreams take a few seconds in real time," Kory explains. "But if I'm focusing my full attention on it instead of doing other things, I tend to end up with my eyes staring open or my mouth hanging open. So yeah, I'll dehydrate. I figure we'll get hungry if we're working on stretching the ability beyond my normal limits."

"We'll try not to push it too far this time— little steps at a time until we figure out what it does to us," Peter says, taking the cautious approach for a change. If it were just him, that approach might be different. He watches her for a long moment, quiet, before he blinks and seems to realize he might well be staring and ask, "So, we're waiting about an hour and then— we go to it?"

"Pretty much," Kory says, letting her eyes lid halfway. "If you kind of extend your perception upward, you can feel their minds. They're still awake, but beginning to get drowsy. It's almost like I feel drowsy myself, except it's a very far away drowsiness. If that makes any sense." Kory actually settles into a cozy, battered, well-worn recliner, shoes off. Must be her favourite dreamwalking chair. "Try it?" She's never had to teach before, so she sounds a bit uncertain herself.

Extend perceptions. Peter tries to think of other abilities that's similar to, but then decides to just— focus on what she's telling him rather than comparing. That helps. Eyes close and after not feeling sleepy all day, he gets the sensation— only he knows it's not him that's getting tired. They open with surprise, and he looks at her. "That's amazing. So you can… feel when someone's getting tired. And when they fall asleep we'll know it and be able to fall asleep too? And… join them?"

"Yep. That's how it works. That's how I figured out what I could do. My mom…she was having a hard time, and I wanted to go to her. And I …did." Kory smiles sadly. "So …in time. Practice. I got better."

"I've had dreams before— as you know— the ones where I see things that could happen," Peter explains, closing his eyes again and reaching toward that feeling once more, even while he talks softly. "The only dream I ever shared with someone— I'm not even sure if I was sharing the dream, or how it happened. The man was dead by that point— but we could talk in the dream, he told me things that I didn't know before. And I know most of what he said was true, so the rest of it probably was too…" He trails off, then opens his eyes again. "It's funny. You kind of remind me of him."

Kory leans up to regard Peter seriously as he describes his ability. "Right. The precognition thing," she muses. "I'd love it if there was something else like that. Attached to mine, I mean. But —" she pauses. "Oh…I do? I hope that's a compliment." She sits up a little straighter. "Nice to know somebody else can do what I can do. Or…or could, I guess." The expression is a little sad at the idea the person is dead.

"Oh, it's a compliment," Peter says, smiling faintly, which is lopsided and more like a twitch in the corner of his mouth. "He was my patient— I used to be a hospice nurse before this all started. He was a good man. Smart and wise. Kinda wish I had his advice sometimes, but I have new friends now, so… But I'm not sure if he had the same gift— I mean it would explain what happened— cause I don't really know what happened, but… I don't know. I can't really ask him, either."

Kory smiles, reassured. "Well, I guess all any of us can do is go forward." There's something sad in her eyes, and she changes the subject, tilting her head. "Hmm. He's asleep. She's still awake." Kory leans back in the chair and gestures significantly at the ceiling. "Feel it?"

Again, Peter closes his eyes. With many of his abilities, he actually has to try this one, but when she's there— right next to him— it makes it much easier to get in tune. "I think so. It feels different now," he says softly, voice already sounding tired, whispered— it usually is whispered, but something different still. "So we'll know when they're ready?"

"Oh, yeah," Kory tells Peter, voice a little dreamy as well. "You'll feel her fall asleep. And you'll feel the mind you're touching get …malleable, I guess. Softer. I have never had to explain it." She glances sidelong at him. "There. She's drifting off now, even. Can you feel it? She's slowing to match him?"

Keeping his eyes closed this time, Peter seems to find that an easier way to focus, so it just stays that way. "I feel it, yeah— it's— I'm not sure I could explain it either, so how you describe it is fine— enough to get me to recognize it myself…"

"Okay, good," Kory says, relieved. "Well, it shouldn't be but another minute. There. Yeah. Now just reach for that soft spot. Your consciousness should push right through it, like …I guess." She laughs, softly. "Feel it? Right there? Push." She seems a bit aware of how odd this conversation would sound to anyone outside the apartment.

"I can feel it," Peter says softly, voice growing even softer and more whispered. This is not helping the whole… um… odd sound. Hopefully no one has their ear against the door. His breathing starts to slow, it becomes very clear he's almost losing control over this— but pushing his consciousness into someone else is unlike anything he's done before. "You're… with me on this, right?" Because he doesn't think he would know what to do if he lost control in this kind of situation.

"I'm right here." And suddenly, there's a perception shift. There's an amorphous foggy background, and Kory's standing on it, looking — well, like an idealized version of herself. More flowing hair. Brighter eyes. Taller. Peter, if he's followed her directions, will also shimmer into existence on the upstairs couple's dreamscape — an idealized version of himself.

The fog is different than anything he experienced in his own dreams. Peter turns and looks around, spotting the woman. His appearance is pretty close to how he normally looks, with a few exceptions. His clothing is different, favoring a long coat with a wide collar and a light shirt underneath, rather than what he'd wore to the apartment. There's also the matter of his hair, which is just a little longer, nearly curling into his eyes, though not quite. He's no taller than before, but he's a little healthier in his weight, since he still hasn't recovered from weightloss of being sick for a month in the waking world. "Oh— this— this is different than what I'm used to…" he whispers softly, though he does seem distracted by the changes in her appearance as well. "You look different."

"Do I?" Kory glances down self-consciously. "Sorry. Let me tone that down a bit." She closes her eyes in concentration for a moment and she sort of gently morphs back to looking exactly like her day-to-day self. "They should be deep enough now we can step right into their dreams. He fell asleep first, so I guess he'll be first." She turns and walks into the fog, which begins to shift and change color as she begins to fade from sight. Shapes are beginning to resolve as the upstairs neighbor's dreamscape begins to take hold.

"No— it— it was fine. I was just surprised by how different you looked. It wasn't bad," Peter says, glancing down and letting those locks of hair actually hint toward falling into his eyes— they don't quite. But as he follows toward that dreamscape, as best as he can, he starts to ask questions again, "Do we— have any control over what he's dreaming? Or I we just… observers?" There's a blink. "Should we even be talking?"
"For the moment, we can observe," Kory tells him, quietly. "I've never had someone with me. But didn't you say you can do telepathy?" She waits for his answer before determining whether she needs to speak or can just think at him from here on out for the rest of his questions.

"What— right. I'm not sure if this'll— it might pull me right out of this dream, but…" Peter takes a deep breath, hoping that he can manage this. It doesn't feel comfortable for him, things go out of focus, he visibly flinches. For a moment his hair looks longer than before— body shifting. The coat vanishes, leaving him in a white short sleeved shirt with blood stains on it. He also looks somewhat unhealthy. Then a moment later there's a whisper in the back of her head, so similar to a spoken voice it could be mistaken for one, Hopefully, I can hold it.

You did it! Kory smiles brightly, pleased. Good. This way we can communicate without disturbing them. She frowns into the fog, and it de-resolves onto a beautiful, sunny, secluded beach. Looks like we've got a nice dream tonight to walk into. She shimmers into a T-shirt and shorts, feet bare. The weather in the dream is warm and sunny — typical for someone dreaming of the summer, inspired by cold, grey New York November.

Probably going to be tired when this settles down, but— for now it's working, Peter admits. As they move, he continues to stay in the bloody shirt and jeans, rather than a warm coat that he might have preferred— and he reaches up to push his hair out of the way absently, trying to secure it behind an ear. Summer, huh? I missed a lot of the summer. I was in the future— and the future wasn't quite as nice as the present. Absent admission. In fact he might not have intended to send that last part at all. Could you interact with people within their dreams?

Uh-huh, I do all the time, Kory assures Peter, though the only sign she gives of being astonished at his remark is a slight widening of her eyes. Well, at least you get to enjoy this little slice of summer. She turns her face toward the sun, and then points out to sea. There's a sailboat, and the dreaming man and his wife are on the deck, sunning themselves. Wanna go sailing?

Don't we have to stay near them? Peter asks, mental voice managing to be confused, even as he pushes his hair back yet again. It still doesn't stay lodged behind his ear, falling back into his eyes— at least the longest lock seems to. Using this ability seems to revert his mental self to exactly who he'd been when he picked it up— curious in a way.

We are near them, Kory assures him. He dreamed this beach this size. She concentrates, though… …and after a few seconds a small, light boat shimmers into existence at the water's edge. C'mon.
The boat appears. Peter looks startled, then actually genuinely smiles, for one of the first times since she's met him. He has to push his hair out of the way, though. Stupid hair. That's amazing. How much control do you have over the dream? he asks, before he moves to step into the boat, hoping that it doesn't just disappear on them.

This is right in fitting with what he's dreaming already, Kory explains, hopping onto the deck. It feels as solid as a real boat. If I were crazy enough to try to force the dream into something he wasn't comfortable with, he'd resist, and it'd take more effort. And I'd have a harder time holding it together. But going with the flow? That's easy. She extends him a hand. He's dreaming a little vacation, and we simply get to come along.

So you have to stick within the confines of the dream for it to really work? Peter asks, reaching out to take her hand, letting his hair flop into his eyes for the moment. He doesn't mind it near as much as he probably should. Little changes are easy, big changes probably are resisted more… What happens when they resist? Do you get kicked out?

It's a contest of wills, usually, if I want to make a change they aren't comfortable with. If I lose, I don't necessarily get kicked out, but I don't get to make the change I was trying to make, either. Kory moves to the wheel, and the engine starts. Don't ask how; it's a dream. Some of this stuff just comes with the territory. In fact, some of the birds flying overhead are unusual colors. Since I'm trying to make it better for most of the people I visit in dreams, I usually go for little changes, or try to convince them to make the changes themselves.

Small changes… Something that fits. Looking out toward the water, Peter thinks about it for a moment, before he twists his hands and tries to consentrate. Wonder if I can do that… There's a shimmer in his hands, and suddenly he's holding a beachball. It's the first thing that came to mind. It fits. More or less. He doesn't let go of it, and looks back over at her. That's really nice of you. I could see this ability being used badly in the wrong hands.

Kory feels the shimmer-shift on the dreamscape of Peter exerting his will. She turns around and smiles brightly. Good job! You're a natural! She blushes at his praise. Well, yes, I suppose somebody with less benevolent motivations could really mess a person up, but there are enough people like that already. And my parents would never forgive me if I was like that.

There's a pause. Peter looks across at her quietly, and then he asks something serious, even if it's still in the mental voice, Have you ever thought of volunteering at a hospital? You could try to enter the dreams of coma patients— make their… I dunno. Make things easier for them maybe. It might be a good way to practice.

I …I thought of it, Kory admits, her face losing some of its delighted glow as she answers him honestly. It's just that a coma isn't like normal sleeping. I don't know what I'd find when I got in. Or if I'd be able to get back out. She hugs herself a little, clearly a bit spooked by too closely considering the idea. I read a lot. You pick stuff up.

You're probably right, Peter thinks back, but there's a softer whisper he might not be meaning to send. could still try maybe… someday… Looking out towards the birds in the sky, the water— all of it, he puts the ball down into the boat and looks back, What else can you do?

Maybe if I have somebody to anchor me. Like you, Kory suggests, encouraged by his confidence she might succeed at it. We could talk to them, Kory adds. And if we asked questions, we'd get the truth, since we're talking to the subconscious mind. If the dream took a turn toward nightmare, I could steer it back to the friendlier dream. Or, I suppose I could make a nightmare if I were really inclined to. But that goes against the grain for me. She settles on the deck, letting the dreamscape's wind blow her hair back like a banner. Are you holding up okay? I've done this for years… I'm used to the mental effort. But he might be getting tired, since this is new to him.

The thoughts of all they could do for people trapped in comas keep Peter occupied, he doesn't even notice just how much this is draining him. All the telepathy added into dreaming— it's starting to wear on him. Back in the waking world, he's even bleeding from his nose. Due to the telepathy more than the dreaming. Both combined, though. What? he asks, mental voice starting to falter— and then, he starts to feel it. The waves of exhaustion. Think— might be best if we… the mental voice breaks, and he puts a hand up to his head. His appearance shifts again, the bloody clothes returning to something darker, longer coat, but he's definitely pretty rough now. "How do we… get back?" he whispers "outloud" within the dream.

"Concentrate on where we began," Kory tells him, alarmed at how he's abruptly started looking rough around the edges. He's not a dreamer. He's a walker like she is, so she can't lend him her strength as she would the sleeper. "Think about my apartment. And what your own body feels like. Your own body will sort of draw your consciousness back." She concentrates again, and the boat stops. There's an odd shimmer of the dreamscape around them again, and they're back on the warm sand.

Where they began. Peter might just pull out of it a little faster than he intended. The shimmering pushes him to the land, then into the mist— then right back into her apartment. His eyes open again. With this kind of strain in telepathy, he should be faceplanting on the carpet, but his hand reaches up to touch the warmth under his nose, the blood he tastes on his lip. That could have gone better. "I'm okay," he assures, in case she's worried, but he's definitely physically weakened by the strain.

She's worried all right. "Keep your head back," she advises. "And when you've got the nosebleed stopped, drink the water. And eat something." She moves to sit on the floor beside him. "You're welcome to rest here as long as you like, before going to your own place. It's not like you'll keep me awake," she teases gently.

Tilting his head back, Peter does as instructed, but it stops pretty fast. Even with everything else— he heals. Who knows how much damage he could do to his brain if he didn't heal. He just needs to clean off his hand, and his face with a tissue, before he takes the drink. "I should be able to get back up to my apartment. It's not too far away. Thanks for the invite— and I still have to have my food…" He might be recovered more than enough by the time they finish eating. "Thanks for the lesson, Kory."

Kory has brought him a cool washcloth; she's not familiar with all his talents, after all. "It's my pleasure, Peter. Anything to help." She helps herself as well. Nerves, in her case, more than exertion. "It…it's great to have someone to go dreamwalking with. It's even better to know I'm not alone. If you'll come with me, we can try your coma patient idea sometime."

The cloth is taken, Peter washes his face off first, then his hand, which held most of the blood. Luckily none of it got down to his clothes. "All right. We'll have to try it some time." The sentiment of not being alone makes him smile again, not quite as wide as it'd been at one point in the dream, but it's there. "It's always good to know that there's others." But first— there's a buzz at the speaker. Dinner has delivered.

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