re_mybrains: (OMG!Tom)
[personal profile] re_mybrains
Tom doesn't usually dream.

Or at least he doesn't remember them. Or maybe he really doesn't. That has more to do with the fact that he rarely sleeps deeply -- that's a survival habit -- than with any mental unbalance.

Probably.

He's pretty sure.

He's never been big on dreams, anyway. His always seem to involve being naked on the first day of school.

Except when they're worse.



The main room of the bar is deserted. Huh. That's weird. He's always figured that the bar's kind of like an airport -- maybe it's got quiet times, in the middle of "night," but, you know, a) it's a bar and b) people are coming in from all kinds of worlds and times, right?

Anyway, the room is deserted. He steps carefully through the tables, stepping over a discarded glass on the floor, around an overturned chair. He's not sure where he's headed, but it's vaguely towards the front door.

When he gets closer, he hears something scratching, scraping, ahead of him.

It's like the pit of his stomach drops out, and he tries to turn, go back up the stairs and pull the covers over his head, but he can't stop walking towards the front door, which is shaking slightly as if someone is trying to open it, clumsily.

The hinges are splintering.

The jamb is splintering.

The hinges are the jambs are the floorboards are giving away going away going going

Still not getting it, Tom, are you?

gone.

I can't say I'm surprised. Honestly, Tom, your long range planning has only gotten worse.

Tom stumbles backwards, finally, as Bob shuffles forward, just the same as the last time Tom saw him it him it dammit -- white bone peeking out from one dessicated cheek, one eye gone except for an oozy trail down the thing's face, reaching fingers worn away to something more like claws.

Just like old times, isn't it? says Bob, pleasantly, words unnaturally clear out of that maw. You know doors don't hold forever.

Tom turns and runs, and in the manner of dreams he's no longer in Milliways, but a hospital, echoing, ruined, burnt, and in the manner of dreams he can't run right, like his legs are fighting through glue and his lungs are breathing smoke and his heart is pumping old dirty oil. He can hear Bob coming on behind him, exhorting the shamble that he escaped from in the first place. Actualize your potential! Bob encourages. There's no I in TEAM, folks -- let's put some TOM in the TEAM.

No no no no please pants Tom, and doges with incredible slowness as someone in a hospital gown, horribly burned, shuffles out of a hallway into his path. A gurney rattles by and the patient clutches at him, leaving a bloody streak down his forearm. He pulls away -- there's no strength to the grip -- and there's a gun in his hand and he brings it around without thinking

and Jordan looks up at him from the gurney, eyes wide and pained

(of course they're pained, there are chunks missing from her, bites out of her flesh, handfuls torn from her guts)

and she says Tom, why did you leave?

and he pulls the trigger before he can stop himself because he can't stop himself

and her brains fan out on the soot-stained sheets

and Bob's hand closes on his bicep and he whispers I told you inter-office relationships lead to trouble.




Tom always thought that whole sitting-up-in-bed-gasping thing only happened in the movies.

Huddling in the bathroom with his head over the toilet, porcelain cold on his arms and tiles hard on his knees -- that's a little more familiar.

By morning -- well, maybe by afternoon -- he's dismissed it as a worse than normal nightmare, and he sets about forgetting it.

(It doesn't want to be forgotten.)

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Tom

April 2011

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