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Do the dead dream?

Will's memory palace no longer looks like the Jacobi house. Sometime long ago it became an empty hallway with no visible source of light and cells opening off the sides -- some barred, some glassed in, some with steel garage doors.

Will doesn't feel like walking down the hallway tonight. Every door leads to a different Chainsaw's dungeon. He knows already. He doesn't have to look.

Date: 2008-09-26 06:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lytii-intuition.livejournal.com
There's still no visible source of light.

But now the light that falls on floor and ceiling and wall and door and Will is patterned with shifting rainbows.

Date: 2008-09-26 06:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eidetiker.livejournal.com
He's sitting on the floor where the hallways dead-ends, or begins.

When he notices the rainbows falling on his clothes, he lifts his head slightly and starts tracing them with one finger.

Date: 2008-09-26 06:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lytii-intuition.livejournal.com
A swirl of colour leads to another, and another, and another after that; if he chases them long enough, they lead along the floor to the wall, and from the wall to...

...a door.

It's always been there; it wasn't there the last time he looked, or the time before that, or the time before that.

It's a wrought-iron gate set in a stone doorway, aclimb with leafy vines; here and there, shining through the foliage, peeks a ray of rainbow sunlight.

He knows what's on the other side. Or doesn't. Or both.

Date: 2008-09-26 06:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eidetiker.livejournal.com
--Oh.

Oh. Of course.

After a moment, he gets to his feet and approaches the gate, running a hand along the stone, then the plants.

Date: 2008-09-26 07:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lytii-intuition.livejournal.com
There is no handle, no lock, and no key. The sandstone blocks are warm under his fingers with the gathered heat of a sunny spring day.

The ivy rustles invitingly at his touch. If the flutter of leaves spoke in words, these would say: come in, come play, there's plenty of sun to go around.

We've missed you.

We love you.

Date: 2008-09-26 07:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eidetiker.livejournal.com
Maybe they do speak. All the rules are different.

After a moment, he lays a hand against the gate and pushes gently.

Date: 2008-09-26 07:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lytii-intuition.livejournal.com
It opens with a friendly creak.

"Hello," says Intuition.

(Hello, says the garden, and its stone walls and its ivy and the gravel of its pathways and the soil that nourishes its grass.)

Date: 2008-09-26 10:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eidetiker.livejournal.com
Will takes a long breath of the fresh air.


"Can I come in?"

Date: 2008-09-27 02:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lytii-intuition.livejournal.com
"Of course. You're always welcome here, Will."

Date: 2008-09-27 02:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eidetiker.livejournal.com
Vines and leaves brush his shoulders as he steps through. He closes the gate behind him, gazing around him.

Date: 2008-09-27 02:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lytii-intuition.livejournal.com
Grass and sunlight and, somehow, summer in a thirty-foot-square garden with stone walls.

"It's good to see you," she tells him, and doesn't ask how he's been because she already knows.

Date: 2008-09-27 02:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eidetiker.livejournal.com
"It's . . ."

A long breath.

"It's good to be here."

Date: 2008-09-27 02:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lytii-intuition.livejournal.com
"I know."

For Intuition, transitional states are something that happens only occasionally. She's standing by the wall, and then she's standing by Will; her hand comes up to rest on his shoulder, sprinkling it with reflected rainbows.

Date: 2008-09-27 03:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eidetiker.livejournal.com
He reaches up to cover her hand with his, closing his eyes.

Date: 2008-09-27 03:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eidetiker.livejournal.com


He puts his arms around her, resting his cheek on her prismatic hair.





And starts to cry.

Date: 2008-09-27 03:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lytii-intuition.livejournal.com
She's quite short; her arms circle his waist and her head leans against his chest.

A warm summer breeze brushes his hair out of his face and then sticks around for a mostly intangible cuddle, smelling of dry grass and sympathy.

Date: 2008-09-27 03:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eidetiker.livejournal.com
His arms tighten around her, holding himself up as his shoulders shake harder.

Date: 2008-09-27 03:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lytii-intuition.livejournal.com
All the warmth and peace and love the Summer Garden can offer won't fix some things.

When your problems are so snarled even Intuition can't quite find the end of the string...

Well.

At least the hug and the cry are helping.

Date: 2008-09-27 03:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eidetiker.livejournal.com
A long time later -- perhaps -- he winds down into sniffing, then hiccups, then rough, even breathing.





"I don't know what to do. I don't even know what I want."

(His face is still buried in her hair.)

Date: 2008-09-27 03:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lytii-intuition.livejournal.com
"You want love," she tells him, and her voice is clear even though her face is pressed comfortingly into his shirt. "Not the kind that has stone walls and summer breezes, though you like that, too. The other kind."

The kind Chainsaw wants to give you.

She doesn't need to say that part out loud.

Date: 2008-09-27 04:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eidetiker.livejournal.com
He thought he was all cried out.

The laugh he chokes out is half a sob, though.

"But I can't take it from him. I can't--"

Date: 2008-09-27 04:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lytii-intuition.livejournal.com
Intuition hugs him harder.

"You can," she says, and maybe there are rainbows in it and maybe there aren't. "It'll hurt and I know it'll hurt and I know why and I'm sorry. But you can."

Date: 2008-09-27 04:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eidetiker.livejournal.com
"My whole job hurts. I don't -- I don't want everything else to hurt too."

Date: 2008-09-27 04:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lytii-intuition.livejournal.com
"It doesn't have to," she tells him quietly. "Not all the time. Not even most of the time. And love, that kind of love, is never truly painless."

Date: 2008-09-27 04:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eidetiker.livejournal.com
Murmured: "I know. But it's too much."

He lets her go to scrub at his eyes. "I wish I'd never met him."

Date: 2008-09-27 04:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lytii-intuition.livejournal.com
"I know," she says sadly.

The breeze dries his tears, then tucks itself snugly into his shirt pocket.



"It's the other Chainsaw who's really the problem."

Date: 2008-09-27 04:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eidetiker.livejournal.com
"Mine. The one who knows me."

Date: 2008-09-27 04:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lytii-intuition.livejournal.com
Gently, "They both know you."

Date: 2008-09-27 01:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lytii-intuition.livejournal.com
"No."

She hugs him again.

"Not the same way."

Date: 2008-09-27 03:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eidetiker.livejournal.com
He wraps his arms around her.

"I want to go back to the way things were," he murmurs. "I know I can't, but I want to anyway."

Before he met this other Chainsaw -- before he died -- before the Dragon.

Date: 2008-09-27 03:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lytii-intuition.livejournal.com
"Time," she says regretfully, "works that way in Reality."

(Intuition speaks of Reality as though it's a foreign country, or perhaps a passing acqaintance.)

(For her it's both.)

"There is never a return to were. Only the passing of is into will be, and memory to tie the three together."

Intuition doesn't have any of the four, as such. It is always now, and everything is always true, and the past and the future are just two slightly different flavours of present.

Date: 2008-09-27 03:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eidetiker.livejournal.com
"Memory," he echoes.

It's hard to be bitter when you're hugging a tiny blonde woman made of rainbows, but somehow he manages.

Date: 2008-09-27 03:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lytii-intuition.livejournal.com
"I'm sorry," she tells him softly. "For everything, Will."

The breeze uncurls out of hispocket, drifts up to his face, and kisses his cheek.

"I can't change things for you. All I can do is tell you what you already know."

Except that to Intuition, the distinction between know and could know and will know is irrelevant. If it's possible it has already happened, or is happening, or will happen, or all three.

Somehow, that ambiguity comes across perfectly.

Date: 2008-09-27 03:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eidetiker.livejournal.com
He closes his eyes briefly, then lets go of her to take a seat by the wall, leaning back against the warm stone.

"I know." He looks up at her. "And I'm grateful for that much. I am."

Date: 2008-09-27 03:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lytii-intuition.livejournal.com
"You're welcome."

Now it's her turn to lean her cheek on his hair.

"You can find a state of equilibrium," she says. "Humans are good at that. Wherever your resting point is-- here or Milliways or your Downside or his-- you'll find your way there eventually."

Date: 2008-09-27 03:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eidetiker.livejournal.com
He laughs softly.

"I couldn't live here."

The idea of finding equilibrium at Milliways apparently goes in one ear and out the other -- but ideas like that have a tendency to leave something in their passing.

Date: 2008-09-27 03:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lytii-intuition.livejournal.com
"No, but you can stay for as long as you like. And this place has a way of letting people in and out when they need to be let."

Date: 2008-09-27 03:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eidetiker.livejournal.com
"I should come here more often, then. But I can't stay."

Date: 2008-09-27 03:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lytii-intuition.livejournal.com
She nods.

"I'll be happy to have you."

And I stands for the grass and the stone and the sky as much as it does for the tiny blonde woman made of rainbows.

Date: 2008-09-27 08:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eidetiker.livejournal.com
"Thank you."






Some time later, he whispers, "What if I just love him because he loves me? I can think of a thousand reasons not to love him and I can't think of a single other reason to love him."

Date: 2008-09-27 08:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lytii-intuition.livejournal.com
"Love isn't reasonable," says Intuition, gently. "Loving you is the most obvious separation between him and the other; of course that's what you see first. But if you love him, he makes you happy. He does things that make your heart a brighter place, maybe not much brighter, maybe only for a little while, but he does. And he might do those things because he loves you, but that's not the paradox you think it is."

Date: 2008-09-27 09:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eidetiker.livejournal.com
He's quiet again, brushing his palm over the grass.

"I don't know," softly. "I don't know if he does. A couple of--"

The word blowjobs seems awfully coarse in a garden full of rainbows.

"I don't know."

Date: 2008-09-27 09:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lytii-intuition.livejournal.com
"Wait and see," she suggests. "You have time."

Date: 2008-09-27 09:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eidetiker.livejournal.com
"I guess that's the only thing to do right now."

Date: 2008-09-27 09:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lytii-intuition.livejournal.com
"Sometimes it is."

As for whether or not now is one of those times...

Intuition never has doubts, but at the moment she doesn't have certainties, either.

Date: 2008-09-27 09:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eidetiker.livejournal.com
Nodding, he closes his eyes.

Right now, he just wants to sit here and be.

Date: 2008-09-27 09:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lytii-intuition.livejournal.com
And Intuition is an excellent place to do that.

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Will Graham

September 2008

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