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Distinendae
#11
Nimeda's eyes widened in revelation. She had never considered Mara's existence beyond the dream. No curiosity ever piqued at the world her friend saw when she opened her waking eyes, nor wondered at the fact she was nearly always here. Confronted now, something ruptured. The word suffer held such a terrible echo. 

She forgot the glinting eyes. She forgot the game she had been about to suggest, and she certainly forgot her reasons for having called Mara in the first place. 

"Who makes you suffer?" Something ancient peeked from Nimeda's gaze. The world around them did not react to the churn within, the control of second nature, but the whimsy of her expression flattened. Power fluttered in her chest like a promise, though she did not cup it in her hands. 

"Sometimes I let the dream take me where I am needed. Calvin was troubled, and once it took me to him." Memories of the nightmare she had materialised into rippled against her consciousness. Grave dirt and wolf fur and the rake of the nightmare's claws. She had tried to explain where the power lie, but too late. "When my Other did not sleep, I found Calvin's dreams and asked him to find me in the waking world. I don't know what happened after that, but I am still here." Her hands splayed. "It must have worked."
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#12
Mara quirked a brow, but the tip of her shoulder let slip the waterfall of hair. The experience of wandering the dream was not unknown, though Mara never had such need as to drift aimlessly toward formless answers. She was actually quite still in comparison to Nimeda: a stone over which the creek bubbled. Sometimes it tumbled farther along its course, but its destiny was set, its journey won't be a great one. 

Maybe this Calvin could come to Mara? Or another one like him if not him. She thought of kindred spirits of her youth, but it was family that imprisoned her in the first place; shackles that Daiyu accepted with volunteered wrists. The connection to Daiyu was dim as a distant candle, but when it was drenched with nightfall, even a flickering flame could be traced from leagues away. "She suffers because the others think her ill and her mind fragmented, but my pets have been great comforts to me. If I had them, I do not think I would have done this--" she turned her wrists as ghosts of red lines split her fragile flesh. The images faded with the rub of a thumb. When she looked at Nimeda, curiosity stirred. The act may not have been attempted if their friendship bloomed sooner.

"Sadly, they are less than beloved by the others. She's in a hospital I think." 
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#13
“But why does not your--” the words softened off into a confused expression. The then and now crashed like waves, and at the centre of that storm she finally perceived an incorrect assumption, born from simple familiarity. Mara and Nimeda, they were old things, but much time had passed since the original buds of their friendship. Life seemed so eternal here in this shadow world that sometimes she forgot.

“Oh. Oh, we are alone.” It wasn’t a revelation, exactly; more like context. Sat cross-legged now, her fingers drummed against the caps of her knees. She shrugged the thought away, and considered instead the things she did know. Calvin and Jon were both moral creatures, and either might help if they thought it the right thing to do. The problem there, of course, being that Nim herself was not always quite sure of the delineation between black and white. Mara’s pets were not well beloved with good reason. Though there was another she might call on, whose morality was a beautifully grey as Nimeda’s own. But his help came with pretty strings. They would need something of value to offer in return.

“A hospital.” She repeated the word so that she might remember it. Though really the where did not matter, for the weight of Nimeda’s intention was heavy as a waterfall. One way or another, she would find Mara’s body, and she would liberate it. Her expression abruptly scrunched away the far-flung thought, replaced by a grin. A flicker brought her closer, kneeling. She had not reacted to the red lines revealed on Mara’s arms, but knowledge of them undoubtedly fired her protectiveness now. Ignorant of the little puffs of darkness, she leaned to press a kiss to her friend’s forehead.

“I will find a way to fix this, sister. I was good at that once.”

And then she was gone.
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