who: brett and eris
where: pmland
when: wee-hours

What really needed to happen was she needed to stop waking up with the vague feeling of surprise that she was waking up at all. That would be a great place to start out. Not somewhat shocked that she was conscious, breathing, not dead. It would at the very least be a mark of not being quite so fucked up. Of course if she stopped waking up confused about waking up at all, it would probably mean that she'd survived the experiment. And somehow, she didn't figure that was going to happen, by any stretch of the imagination.

Someone would find a reason to kill her. They'd feed someone just enough bullshit--or hell, truth--and someone would want to take her out. Or she'd do something stupid like last night, and do it to herself accidentally. One's survivability rating really tended to nosedive when you were actually likely to kill yourself just by pure accident. The third option was she did what she'd done when she'd driven out of town, which was merely put herself into a position where she was likely to die, and she couldn't bring herself to give a shit. Those bouts of sliding down into self destructive tendencies that she still didn't quite know the origin of. Yeah, she wasn't going to make it. It was clear she thought that. And even if she did, she didn't know what the fuck she was going to do back in the outside world. It wasn't like she could go back to her old life. There certainly wasn't a place for her there.

When Eris had woken up, it had been early. Around four in the morning early, really, since she'd gone to bed before it had even been nine at night. She messaged Everett quickly with a short note that just said she was still alive, and if he had still been holding up his end of the bargain, he was free and clear now. She could go message Brett herself and let him know she was still alive.

She went to go get a glass of water, but the tap didn't work, and she didn't investigate enough to actually understand what had gone on there. She was still feeling like hell and that didn't lend itself to her observational skills, particularly in a room where she hadn't bothered really turning on the overhead lights. She'd stuck with the lamp by her bed, which only vaguely lit the rest of the space. Her head hurt, she was moving kind of slowly, and sometime over the night she felt like her exposure symptoms had crept back up. She kept going from overheated to too cold. She was fairly sure she had a fever again, which...whatever. That figured. She still didn't feel nearly as bad as she had when she'd first gotten back to the house, but it was all relative. At least when that had happened, she'd had Brett with her, and he'd...well. Looked after her in the worst case of awful bedside manner known to man. But that was just how he was, and if he'd done it any differently, she would have been wondering what the hell was up.

Being she didn't want to put things off very long with Brett, she didn't take note of the computer in the center, or the locks on things. She just thought it over and worked herself up to speaking to him and headed over to sit down in front of the terminal that connected her to Brett. She reached out to turn on some music, finding something less jarring to play, because she didn't want anything to make her mild headache into a bad one. That just didn't work for her. So she sat there, and listened to some music, staring at the screen. She wondered if she messaged him if he'd even reply back to her. She did note that he hadn't tried again. Well...either he hadn't tried again or when the scientists had come to lock her out of everything, they'd erased any messages. That was possible.

Heaven holds a sense of wonder, and I wanted to believe, that I'd get caught up, when the rage in me subsides

She started typing, but she kept deleting everything she put down. Nothing sounded right to her. And she had the feeling that things were on unsteady ground. Or that could just be her. she didn't necessarily have faith that she couldn't have fucked everything up last night, beyond repair. Funny how she'd thought before that things were fucked, and yet this felt a whole lot more like it.

In this white wave, I am sinking, in this silence, in this white wave, in this silence, I believe

Type. Delete. Type. Delete. She told herself he wasn't even there. That he was much less psychotic than she was, and he'd probably gone to bed hours ago, back at his magic happyland...what had he called it? Something like a lean-to but not. It started with a B. Something. But he was likely there. Having dreams about whatever he dreamed about, and not concerning himself over her. It was a theory that was both nice and fucked up in her head. Nice on some levels, and something that left her feeling hollow on others.

I have seen you, in this white wave, you are silent, you are breathing, in this white wave, I am free

Finally she just typed a short message and sent it, before she could talk herself out of it again.

still breathing.

He heard it. It took him a minute to really compute that he heard it, but he heard it. There. And he headed her way immediately, reading the words, not knowing quite how to respond to them, before he leant in to type. Good. Welcome back. How do you feel? he sent, ignoring his own hangover - that was nothing.

She had really convinced herself that he wasn't going to reply to her, so when he did it was kind of a surprise too. Wasn't her life just full of that this morning? The wee hours. Where the most fucked up things happened. At least, in her experience. She read the words, and she for a second wasn't sure what to say. Because she'd kind of expected even if he did reply to her, that it was going to be abrasive. But...that didn't sound abrasive. Vaguely wondering if she was still on a time limit, she typed back a response within the confines of the time limits he'd set on her the night before. Not well. Not dying, but feverish. She typed 'are you okay?' but deleted it. She didn't know if she could put that down just yet. Plus, it was pretty damn blatant that she was concerned about him and she just...yeah she couldn't do it right then. Not in her second message to him.

Brett read the response and thought before he typed anything back. He considered what he'd had gone through, what had gone on, just how tired he was right now. Did you sleep? A small question. He had. A little. Not much, not well. He could happily curl up right now and let the world go away. He'd basically passed out at one point - lack of sleep and alcohol did not make good bedfellows.

She read that, and automatically started to type back yes, she had. And the had to stop, and she felt a pang. She'd set up a lie the night before. And she really wasn't used to lying to him now. She didn't want to. In the end she was honest, she just didn't sell herself out. some. Restless dreams. you? Are you okay? she sent it that time before thinking of deleting the last bit, and she winced faintly at herself when she saw it on the screen. Instant messages needed a take-back function.

Brett took a soft breath before answering. No reason why I shouldn't be, right, Princess? How's the watch? he sent across to her. He didn't want to answer that question - it'd mean thinking about what the answer actually was.

She read that and had to sit there and think about tone for a good minute or two. Was he being sarcastic? Was that a barb? Or not? Was he just...letting her off the hook for things? If he was, what did that mean? Eris rubbed at her temples for a minute, and really wished she wasn't now thrust into second-guessing mode. She knew she'd had a few moments last night of wondering how she was meant to take things, but not, say, every message that came through. I guess not. she sent to him. Since, in the end she decided to take him at face value. Apparently he was fine. Maybe she'd not needed Everett to tell him anything. Maybe he'd just gone away from the computer and washed his hands of her for the night. Maybe he hadn't worried, like she'd thought he was going to. Maybe all was fine in Brett-land, where there was pretendy wilderness he could hang out in, and not be bothered to spin his mental wheels on her condition. Way to overestimate your importance. she thought to herself in a moment of sharp self recrimination. Watch = still broken. I smashed it and dumped it in a glass of water last night. It's still there. she sent, not knowing if she'd told him exactly what she'd done or not.

Good Brett sent back. He looked down, then took a breath and followed it up with another. If you're feeling better, you should get some sleep. Proper sleep, where you don't have to keep checking in. He wouldn't apoligise for keeping her up all night, but they both needed it. He hadn't got any real sleep either and his body hurt for it.

But I'm not feeling better. I have a fever. I think. I feel sick. Last night I just felt slow and underwater, like those old Looney Tunes cartoons where someone's taken Ether. Where everyone floats along, and everything's slowed far down. Now I just feel sickish. And I don't know if I should take my meds today. Should I take my meds? Should I not until later? You probably don't know. But I kind of expect you to. And maybe you don't care, either. She read the part where he mentioned the checking in, but didn't know if that meant he'd actually gotten the messages, or he just had been informed that she was checking in. Especially with the him being fine thing. She recognized she needed to send a message back to him, and ignored everything she'd thought, and how she was feeling. She thought it felt irrational to her. Like she was overreacting. Okay. she sent to him, because she didn't know what else to say. She guessed she'd kind of hamstrung herself. She'd slept, and he thought she hadn't much, so...the logical thing was for her to go to bed. Eris just felt massively unsettled over things, because now she was feeling really off. On oh so many levels, like she didn't understand what was going on, either with her or him, and like she had confused things. Which, in her condition last night...was extremely likely. Were her impressions of things all wrong? Probably. Very probably. Fuck. She typed in 'i'm sorry for anything i did or didn't do last night' but deleted it.

Is that all? Brett actually typed that in before deleting it. Of course that was all - she'd been up most of the night, just like he had. She wasn't exactly going to be chatty now, was she? And neither was he. Just because he was finally facing the fact that maybe the worst was over didn't mean that everything was okay. Just not as dire as it could have been. Okay

She stared at the word for a long few minutes. She guessed that was itish, then. Just...okay, sleeptime. Nevermind she'd kind of thought that she might die last night. How she'd wondered if it was going to be the last time she'd speak to him. That she'd gone out of her way to try and be sure that he might be okay. About the only thing she didn't do was let herself send the message to Everett that asked him to look after Brett for her in the event of her demise. She couldn't have justified it, couldn't send that message, because if nothing else, it would have confirmed what Everett had said to her in the first place. The part about giving a shit. But she'd typed it at one point. Then deleted it. Like she kept starting a message, but it didn't go anywhere, so she didn't send it.

She wasn't sure which was worse. Waking up feeling kind of like hell again with no one around to help her, in his own special brand of acidic nursing, or thinking that everything she'd been feeling and thinking last night turned out to be made up in her head. It made her not trust herself, even moreso than usual. Since waking up with her head all fucked up, she'd had problems trusting herself, but this was jarring for her. This felt like it threw everything into question. And she had no one to ask for perspective on it. No one but the man who'd done this to her in the first place, and there was no way she was going there. She couldn't. It would make her too vulnerable, and she didn't want him to have it so blatantly put in front of him just how broken he'd made her. How deep inside her head the wires had gotten fried. At one point she would have relished him knowing the extent of the damage, because she knew it twisted the knife deeper, but today? Now? It wouldn't do anything. It wouldn't make her feel better, it wouldn't fix her. It wouldn't alter the fact that apparently, she had massive problems with understanding the situations in front of her. That her interpretation filter was fucked. She typed in 'i'm sorry' about six times and deleted every one. It would just invite him to ask her what for, and she didn't have an answer for him. But she felt that little need to say something to him. Keep the connection there, because she felt so much like curling up inside herself and staying there. Wouldn't be hard or anything. Especially not trapped where she was. goodnight

He should get some sleep. They both should. Surely if she wasn't going to be okay, she would have been not okay by now. The worst was over. He hurt. Every bone in his body ached. The pains in his legs had been getting worse all night and he knew it was because he hadn't slept. And the drink, of course. Sleep or no, the hangover was hitting. But she needed sleep as well. Sleep would help. Night, Princess. Sweet dreams. It was as good as he could give her.

She read that, and drew in a deep breath, letting it out slowly. That sounded nice. It sounded more like... And as you've already thought, that's just not it. So don't go there again. It sucks enough as it is. Stop reading in what you want to be there. Eris told herself that she wasn't going to send anything back but in the end did. i'll try. Right. That'd happen. What time was it anyways? Five am? Six? Could she tell him to get back to sleep if she'd woke him up? Was that just her needlessly keeping the conversation going when it was really over, and probably had been when they'd both said okay? In the end she figured he was a big boy, and could make his own goddamn decisions on if he was going back to sleep or not. She set the keyboard down on the desk, and curled up in the chair she was already in, shutting her eyes as she tried to block out the clamoring in her head. And she told herself she wasn't waiting for him. Or waiting for him to possibly message her later, or...anything. She was just sick, and the chair was comfortable. Kind of.

I'll try. That was it. But, but then again, he told himself, why would there be more? He should probably just be grateful that she'd let him know she was still alive. Fucking gratitude. That thought alone got his back up enough to determine he wasn't going to fucking answer. Like he was at her fucking beck and call. Screw her - he'd show her. He turned away from the computer, determinedly making himself head back to the campsite. He wouldn't respond, he had no reason to, he'd leave it.

At least she was okay.