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Dinah Lance blondecanary
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Arrakis, Sietch Tabr corridors, even later Tuesday night/Wednesday morning
She had walked a dozen circuits down the halls with a blanket over her shoulders before she stumbled. Tired. So tired. Too unnerved to sleep, though. Can't stay awake... Outside Merlin's room, Arthur near by. Safe here. Safer, anyway. Just rest. Just for a second. Dinah curled herself up in her blanket near their door and was out before her body hit the ground.

...She is out on the ledge of the Clock Tower, looking down, and hearing Barbara's voice from the inside: "You have to see this. It's important."

"Barbara..."

"Don't make me come out there."
Dinah climbs back in, away from the lights of the city and cool air, and crosses the annex to Barbara-- who is pointing at a single projected column of light in the center of the room, and as soon as Dinah looks at it---

---Running. Couldn't stop now that you can hear the sound of a language no longer used in this land. Old and powerful. "Stop!" you call, desperation coloring your tone.

She is beautiful and cruel as she turns, lowering the chalice in her hands. Almost coy, looking at you over her shoulder. "Back again so soon, Warlock?"

Gaius. Oh god, no. He's unmoving at her feet, slumped against the stone altar. "What have you done?"

(And Dinah has a very bad feeling about this, because this woman reminds her of no one so much as Harley Quinn, the first one, and the old man is dead, and she can feel Merlin's sharp grief and this just can't end well)

"Your mother is safe," she tells you with a smirk, moving toward you with the grace of a cat on the hunt. "Isn't that what you wanted?"

"And you killed him." You can't tear your eyes away from him until you realize that you're the prey here. You can feel it in the air on this island.

"It was his wish."

"I bid my life for Arthur's! Not my mother's, not Gaius'!" you shout uselessly. It's all finished. A deal has been struck and there is no bringing back the dead.

(...wait, his mother is alive, Gaius is alive...)

"The Old Religion does not care who lives and who dies," she booms, not shouting. Simply louder and grander in this place of power. "Only that the balance of the world is restored. To save a life, a life must be taken. Gaius knew this."

"It is not the Old Religion that has done this. It is you."

"Come now." It is a tempting smile she gives you. "We're too valuable to each other to be enemies." And you can feel how it's true. There is something you share that would make you both completely unstoppable if you wished. You could crush the world beneath your heel.

"I share nothing with you!"

"With my help, Arthur will become king," she insists.

You draw yourself up, anger burning within your chest. Pride as well. "I will make Arthur king. You will never see that day."

Drawing on that fury, you bring a ball of flames to your hand, not feeling it burn even as it licks up along your wrist and arm. Flinging it at her, you watch helpless as she simple holds up her hand and draws it in like the heat of the sun on a cold day.

(Oh, God, someone stop this, someone anyone no no no Merlin run)

"Your childish tricks are useless against me now." A casual wave of her hand and sparks form on her palm, bursting into flame to show you just how easy it ought to be. "I am a priestess of the Old Religion."

You're forced to leap to the side to avoid the ball of flames she throws. The tower that had been just behind you explodes in a shower of dust and burning hot stones.

"You too are a creature of the Old Religion," she tells you. It's the truth--No--and you can feel it become more real as she speaks, bringing another ball of flame to her hand. "You should join me."

"You think I would join forces with such a selfish and cruel magic?" You ask, head held high and never about to be broken by these threats. "Never."

(Dinah loves him for saying that and wants to shake him for the timing and wants him to run)

"So be it." This time you're unable to avoid it, taking the blow in the chest. It burns. You struggle to breathe, let alone move to defend yourself. You've lost everything now. Arthur won't be protected.

(MERLIN!)

She's walking away. You know this as you smell the ozone in the air. All thoughts of pain are gone as you stare up at the darkening sky. This was a place of power for people like you and her. She seemed to think she was the only one with access to that now. "Pity. Together we could have ruled the world."

You sit up at that, watching her back as she walks toward the altar again. You will never allow her to do that.

(Oh. Oh, no. Merlin, no, don't, not like this--)

"You should not have killed my friend," you say, low but in the same booming tones that she had before. The clouds gather above her, dark and dangerous. Lifting your hand, you channel the lightning and direct it down to her. The witch would pay. A life for a life.

(And the power and the coldness and the alien implacability have Dinah stumbling, shuddering, scared of Merlin for the first time ever--)

"Dinah." Barbara's voice. "Dinah!"--


Opening her eyes, Dinah sees the column in front of her again, shapes moving inside of it, drawing her in to drown again and

"END SEQUENCE NOW." Barbara-voice that can't be denied--


"Ah!"

This time, when Dinah wakes up, she stays awake, shaking and waiting for dawn. And staggers back to her room feeling very very cold.

[ooc: written in conjunction with bigdamndestiny, dialogue from Merlin episode 1.13, "Le Morte D'Arthur", so spoilery as anything.

ETA: For one. :> ]

[Awwwww Dinah! *hug*]

Francine was not the heaviest sleeper in the world, and though she hadn't her friend leave, the return had her sitting up and blinking in the dark. "Dinah?" she called quietly, so as not to wake the others.

"Hey," Dinah whispered shakily. "'m okay. Couldn't sleep." She gestured with the thin blanket. "Took a walk." At least Francine couldn't see her face, right?

She could hear her voice, though. "You don't sound okay."

She still didn't want to sleep. So she sat down next to Francine's bed, pulling the blanket around herself tight. "Nightmares." Dinah gulped. "Other people's. I think. Maybe?" How much was made up, she wasn't sure, but. She could always tell when it wasn't her memory. The colors were different. The angles were sharper, cleaner. The viewpoint was the other person's. Dinah rocked, still shaken by that last one.

You should not have killed my friend. A small sound escaped her, and she put her hand over her mouth to try to keep it quiet.

"Dinah?" That was Francine scrambling over and taking her blanket with her, to slide off the bed and put her hand on Dinah's shoulder.

Dinah flinched, remembering her shields again. Tried to pull them up, but God, her concentration was just gone.

"Don't-- don't touch my skin." Her voice cracked. "My head is killing me, I don't think I can keep anything out," she whispered, shivering.

That was what blankets were for, and Francine wrapped hers around Dinah's shoulders before trying to give her a hug. "What happened?"

It was still so jumbled up and overwhelming, and Dinah leaned into the hug, still so careful not to touch Francine, but grateful for the contact, grateful for reality outside her head. "I don't know. It's never happened like this. All kinds of stuff, some of it was just sad. Some of it--" She shook her head, concentrated on breathing. "Scary. Really scary." Dinah tried to gulp back a laugh, still working to keep her voice down. "Or very weird. Did you-- dream of a guy, in a Santa Claus suit?"

Edited at 2009-07-01 04:59 am (UTC)

Francine blinked at her. "Uhhhh. Who kept staring at my--- yeah."

"Oh, crap." Dinah gave a watery giggle. "Rich Corinthian... ugh. That's when I woke up." She closed her eyes, her breath catching. "I don't want to be getting stronger. I don't want this too. I just got used to the other stuff. I don't want to be psychic without touching people, Francine." She put her head down on her knees and tried not to hyperventilate.

Okay. Maybe cried. Maybe. It was dark. Who could tell?

Edited at 2009-07-01 05:13 am (UTC)

Hair didn't count as skin, right? So Francine could stroke that? "Shh, sweetie, don't panic." She thought about everything they'd been told before coming here. "It might be just this place. Didn't Lady Ghanima say the spice stuff affects things like that?"

It took a couple minutes for that to sink in, then Dinah's shoulders sagged with relief. Or hope. "Oh. Ohhhh." She turned her head to squint at Francine in the dark, trying to remember what Leto had told her about Spice, and felt herself relax some more. "Oh. Right. I'm dumb. Leto even told me about..." The orgies, with everyone's minds expanding and all. "I didn't think I'd had enough, but maybe." She sniffed. "Yeah. That could be it."

The hair-stroking felt good, and Dinah closed her eyes. Tried not to think of being chased across an empty void, dead heads rolling, ships exploding to dust... Merlin coldly calling down lightning.

"I'm kind of psychic too," Francine said not at all seriously, trying to cheer her up. "I dreamed somebody punched out Griffin Silver, and then somebody did. Well, somebody tried."

Dinah giggled, rubbing at her face, totally willing to be distracted. "Seriously? Who? And when was this?"

"Katchoo. At Rock-Con. It was an accident." As far as Francine knew. "But it was at Caritas, so she ended up in the duck pond."

More giggling, and muscles untensing as Dinah leaned her head back against the edge of the bed. "I did that once. That weekend we were superheroes?" She sniffed. "I still don't know who I hit, either. Crazy Catwoman in a pleather catsuit.... Why'd Katchoo try to hit Griffin Silver?" She was starting to get sleepy again, but still a little scared. No more dreams, please.

"I'm still not exactly sure. She said it was a tic." She had eventually figured out Katchoo didn't mean an insect bite, yes.

Francine looked over at Dinah's face, what she could make out of it, still concerned. "Was it--" She didn't know what to say and didn't want to make it worse. "My dream wasn't bad, just stupid." Pervy Santa wasn't something that would have had Francine wandering the halls at night trying to deal with it.

"No, yours wasn't bad." Dinah closed her eyes, too tired to even tense up now. "It wasn't all bad. Tony was directing a movie." She smiled. "Zack was graduating, I think. But some other people. I don't even know who all of them were, but." She was quiet a long minute. "We're really lucky, you know?"

"I know." She thought of her best - or worst - example, and nodded. "Trust me, I know."

Dinah believed her. Something in her voice. "I'm scared to sleep," Dinah whispered. "I'm scared of-- of my friends." Merlin. And what if that was just a nightmare? She didn't want to be scared of him. Or scared of nothing. "Not you, though." She tilted her head sideways, leaning it against Francine. "Tired."

Of her friends? Francine frowned, but didn't want to push it, not now. "You don't have to be scared. We won't let anything happen to you."

"Thanks." Francine would look out for her. Yeah. She could believe that.

Dinah closed her eyes. Couldn't sleep. Nope. No sleeping. Not-a-sleep.

Francine, though, despite her concern... could. Eventually. Actually it was somewhat amazing the positions she could sleep in.

NOT DIRTY.

Eventually. Eventually, her chin dipped towards her chest and Francine was off in a vague dream of ponies with wings eating ice cream out of giant buckets. One of them may have had overly large ears, while another had a tattoo of a crown, and a third had some sort of flower on its butt...

Lulled by Francine's breathing, still worried and disconnected, Dinah finally fell back asleep too, between one breath and the next.

And dreamed of winged ponies. One with a crown which kept butting her hand and demanding more treats, and another flower-tattooed one that kept sticking its head in an ice-cream bucket and then blowing raspberries at her, and another one with big ears who gave her sad pony eyes until she had to pet it, and another sweet one with a pretty dark mane and a milkshake tattoo on her butt.

That one got extra ice cream.

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