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I can't control myself, I have to see you BLEED
*haunting your dreams
trappedbyhate wrote in beyondtherift
Mio Hongo is in a dark alley somewhere. If you've been looking for her at the Kashtta recently, you wouldn't have been able to find her, because she's only been there for a few hours at night to sleep. Since joining Torchwood, she made the mistaken assumption that being able to spend her  energy working for the Wanderer community meant that she wouldn't have to hurt people using her powers anymore to maintain her sanity.  She stopped tracking the potential targets she'd been setting up, and she stopped talking to rape survivors to learn their experiences and try to help them heal from them. So when about a month or so back when the urges started getting to strong to ignore, she clamped down on them, and started trying to minimize interactions with people she could possibly hurt. For once in her life, she had the opportunity to be a good person, and she didn't want to jeopardize that.

So that's how she ended up in a dark alley in a bad part of town, with a dead body at her feet and a splitting migraine after committing one of the most brutal mindrapes of her life.  After she was done, the bum she had grabbed begged her to kill him, and she had no choice in conscience but to go through with it. A good portion of her previous targets would have nightmares for the rest of their lives, but still retained most of their sanity and were still able to function independently when she was done with them.  This man...not so much.  If he had ever been "all there" to begin with, years of alcohol and hard drug addiction had eaten away at his mental faculties. But what she did to him was ten times, a hundred times worse than that, and in the space of slightly less than an hour rather than over years and decades. Killing him was the only mercy she could have given him. 

Too incapacitated and too much in pain to even type, Mio pulls out her phone and speaks a locked journal entry into it.  She hopes Torchwood can get here quickly, because if someone came by with ill intent before then, she doesn't think she could even focus her eyes long enough to aim her gun at them.

Luka Petrovic is in the hospital.  For the past six weeks, she's been in a medically-induced coma.  She'd been dealing less and less well with Arlin's absence, and having more and more nightmares, until it reached a point in which she thought it would be best if she never slept again.  So she went and bought a bunch of methamphetamine and ecstasy from a local dealer, and then over the course of the next three days proceeded to consume about as much drugs as most hardcore addicts take over a month or more.  It's a wonder she didn't kill herself outright from the overdose.  When she didn't respond to standard treatment at the hospital because of her unique metabolism, the hospital staff figured the only thing they could do is keep her sedated until the drugs worked their way out of her system normally.  Today was the first day her blood chemistry had reached "normal" levels, so the hospital staff allowed her to wake up long enough to see how she was doing.  She sits in her hospital bed, IV in her arm, staring at her journal.

[[Feel free to have characters stumble upon Mio at any point in this process.  Also, nearby psychic types will definitely be able to pick up on Mio's pyschic transmissions although they may not be able to tell exactly what the content is because she is focusing her broadcast on her poor victim.  (Basically, things are leaking out the edges because she's not being super careful about shielding.)]]

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Millie doens't normally visit the hospitals, she finds them too depressing, but today is a special day. She's not been having a good time of it herself and she thought maybe she could make things better for someone else.

She peeks into the hospital room, waving hello and offering a bright smile. "Hi," she says cheerfully. "You busy?"

She doens't want to interrupt but she thought she would drop in and say hello. Luka looks like the kind of girl who might need a cup of cocoa and a cookie or, at the very least, a friendly face.

Luka looks up from her journal. "No," she says. "Do you know what day it is? I don't remember. It feels like I slept for a long time."

"It's Tuesday," she informs, taking a few steps into the room. "The nineteenth."

Walking to the edge of the bed, she abandons the ever present cart in favor of taking up a spot on one of the chairs provided by the hospital. "How long have you been here?"

She feels almost guilty for some reason, like she should be someone else, someone the girl actually cares about rather than a prying stranger.

Luka thinks. That doesn't sound quite right to her. "But the nineteenth is a Sunday," she says, finally, putting her finger on what it is. She still thinks it's September.

"I don't remember," Luka says. "I woke up, and I was here. I don't remember how I got here. I only remember..." she trails off, trying to figure out what the last thing she remembers is. "I decided I didn't want to sleep anymore because the dreams were so scary. There was a man who said he had drugs that would keep me awake, and drugs that would make me happy again, so I bought some from him. I don't remember what happened after that."


Torchwood is definitely not what happens to walk around the corner, right then. What Kaden's doing in this part of town is relatively easily explainable, though if he were to run into someone he knew he'd have to come up with something other than "buying a shitton of amphetamines". But Mio isn't someone he knows, so it's not a big deal.

He swings around the corner not really paying attention to where he's going -- he thought this was the street and not an alleyway, for starters. But when he looks up and realizes that not only is this not the street he thought he was turning onto, but is also a scene most would not like random passers-by to stumble onto, he stops dead in his tracks, looking vaguely surprised. One hand is still holding the drugs, which he'd previously been trying to stuff into a pocket of his briefcase.

The itching in his shoulderblades starts almost immediately. Dammit. And with Ken in town and everything. He really doesn't want to deal with this on top of that. 'This' being the Calling, which isn't exactly going to let him leave the scene, now.

"Oh," he says, as if he just walked in on someone sneaking the last cookie or something, not someone who's just killed someone else. "Sorry." His brow furrows, and he looks down for a moment to finish stashing the drugs. "Do you need help with that?" He's not sure which 'that' he's referring to, but he'll see what her answer is.

Mio looks up from dictating into her journal/phone. Fuck. Fuckity fucking de-aging genderswap pregnancy LOL from the fifth hell dimension, she did not need someone to find her right now.

Despite the internal cursing, she doesn't even bother to try to get her gun back out of its holster to threaten Kaden. If this man wanted to kill her, she really wasn't in much of a condition to stop him, and besides, she deserved it. The migraine and the muscle weakness were ramping up big-time now, and she didn't know how much longer she could even continue to stand up. She reaches with one hand to steady herself against the alley wall.

"Someone...will be coming," she says, trying to cover up the weakness in her voice but failing.

Huh. That wasn't necessarily the response he was expecting, which is his favorite thing to hear. No denials, though her response could be construed as a variation on 'leave me alone'. Well, if that's what she wanted, oh well.

He takes in the bulletholes in the man's chest, his dirty clothes, the terrified expression on his face, and only finds himself more intrigued. Moving back to her, he notes the way she's steadying herself, the weakness in her voice. The step he takes toward her is almost involuntary.

"Will you be okay until then?" he asks. Yeah, maybe it's weird for a total stranger to be that concerned, but whatever. "I mean, what happened? He didn't hurt you or anything, did he?"

Mio can feel an inkling of Kaden's intrigue through the pain of the mounting migraine. Joy. Just what she needed, someone who wasn't going to leave her alone. And her shields were completely shot beyond all repair at this point too. With her luck, he'd be psychic enough to be able to read her too.

"Yes," Mio says, shortly, trying not to gasp for air. "And no." If you wanted an explanation, Kaden, you're not getting one. Even if she was not almost too weak to talk, she wouldn't give you one. There are two people she wants to explain this situation to, and you're not either one of them.

Jack considered teleporting directly to Mio. Yeah, his wrist device needed a lot of calibration before it got him anywhere near where he was supposed to be, but given that she was on the other side of town, it might have saved time in the long run. Of course, given what came through on that transcription, he has his doubts about dragging Mio through a rough teleport.

So he settles for using it to snatch Owen off a streetcorner instead.

To be fair, the doctor wasn't answering his mobile or checking his pager or apparently journal, and when someone like Mio requests immediate assistance, it's best not to dick around. He teleports them both to the parking lot outside the Kashtta – calibration to bring them both out sitting in the seats would just be a nightmare  – and two seconds later, there's a Sig Sauer in his face.

He was expecting that. "Relax," he says, ducking and disarming in the same motion. "Torchwood officer in extremis. Get in the car."

He flips the pistol and hands it back. Owen glares at him for a moment, then snatches the pistol back and manages to refrain from shooting him in the face. "...right."

And in a moment, they're peeling out.

"Journal entry from Mio," Jack explains. "I'm assuming you still keep–"

"Yes, Jack, all the good drugs are in the survival kit in the boot," Owen grumbles, skimming over the transcription. Body bags are so standard he doesn't feel like remarking on them. It's Torchwood. There are always dead bodies. "You really didn't have to abduct me."

"You weren't answering your pages," Jack says, then spares a moment to glance at him out of the corner of his eye. Owen's posture is more rigid and closed-off than usual. That's a bit concerning, even for him.

...then again, Jack has few illusions about what associations that wrist device calls up.

"Sorry."

Owen grunts something, and leans over to scribble something in his journal. Jack exhales, and focuses on driving.

Sooner or later, though, a black Torchwood SUV swings into the alley where Mio is collapsed.

Enjoy your rescue, Mio. It's slightly more dysfunctional than usual.

Mio has been a making a valiant effort to continue to stay vertical while waiting for the rest of Torchwood to come. At some point shortly after her journal entry, she did give into gravity and sat down on the ground, propping herself up against the alley wall. She'd been "undercover" anyway (a.k.a. wearing casual clothes, not a suit), so it didn't really matter if the clothing got ruined, and her dignity was already in tatters from having to ask to get rescued.

At the sound of someone driving like a maniac, Mio takes her hand off of her eyes to check who it is. Ow. The photophobia accompanying this migraine was really bad this time.

"You're here," Mio says weakly, closing her eyes again while she tries to get her muscles working properly long enough to struggle to her feet. She may not be able to help carry the body, but fuck if she wasn't going to get into that SUV on her own two feet. She still had some sense of dignity, after all.

Owen would like to know why everyone in Torchwood is stupid.

Or at least possessed of too much bravado for their own damn good. Not that he can really talk. He was the one back in Cardiff cagefighting Weevils. Still, when he's directly responsible for people's physical wellbeing, he'd appreciate it if they didn't go out of their way to make his job harder. Not a lot, but he would.

"Easy," he says, crouching down in front of her and putting a hand on her shoulder before she has a chance to stand up. Then his hand goes to his medkit, flipping open the drug compartment. "Stand to swallow anything, or would you rather intravenous?"


Jack, meanwhile, has been casing the area.

Okay. Alley. Not his favorite locale, but not the worst he could think of. Wrist device scan suggests there's nothing terribly unusual about the alley or the people around it – normal light foot traffic for this time, no one who seems to be scoping the place. Which brings his attention to the body on the ground.

One dead body. One bullet hole, right to the chest, and from the way the body is sprawled and the spray of the blood, it doesn't look like he was putting up much resistance. The blood's red – he's not sure what he would do if it were a demon's black, though he's not entirely certain what he's supposed to be doing now when it's not. Could be a wanderer, he's got no way of telling that, but his physical body, at least, looks used-up and worn out, and he's having trouble convincing himself that this can read as a killing in self-defense.

He glances back at Owen and Mio, debates going for his journal to see what Owen was scribbling about on the drive over, then shakes his head and walks back to open the back of the SUV. There are three body bags, tightly rolled, stashed in a side compartment along with a box of black gloves – if nothing else, Torchwood knows itself. He pulls the gloves on and gets to work.

Mio wants to say pills and preserve her dignity, but intravenous drugs take effect in a matter of seconds, not minutes. She sighs. "Intravenous, please," she says. "Takes effect -- faster." She is not too weak to swallow pills, is that clear?

Duncan's been checking up on Luka periodically since her overdose, even if certain social workers didn't really want him around her. The Organization has this amazing ability to get rid of those, when necessary. Like when they're threatening to pry too much into the nature of the legal guardianship that their informant has over their youngest assassin. Even if she was mostly left to fend for herself anyway.

Duncan's questioning exactly how wise that was, now. The girl clearly still doesn't know her way around life, and for all that he respects his boss, Arlin certainly doesn't know jack shit about taking care of anyone. In the keeping-them-alive sense of the phrase, not the killing-the-fuck-out-of.

This time when he walks into the room, she's awake. He makes a slightly-exaggerated surprised face -- then again, all his expressions seem slightly exaggerated -- and comes the rest of the way in, plopping down on the chair with a sigh. "Feeling any better, sport?" he asks.

Luka looks up at Duncan. "Do you know when it is? It feels like I slept for a very long time. I didn't have any dreams, though. That was nice." Even for Luka's near-monotone, her voice sounds distant.

Duncan's pretty familiar with Luka's normal monotone, and this is not it. His brow furrows a bit. For all that he still doesn't really feel like he knows her, he still likes the kid, and seeing her like this hurts a weird paternal part of him he didn't know he had. And isn't really sure he wants.

"It's--" he checks his watch, even though he knows the date and time, "--Wednesday, October 19th, at about 7 pm. You were asleep for a long time." He pauses, then shrugs. "Because you were in a coma."

Hey, it's easier to talk to Luka sometimes because he can be blunt like that.

"October," Luka says. "That's more than a month."

She sits there and processes this for quite some time, before getting a suddenly panicked expression on her face. "I was supposed to a job at the end of September," she says, her voice now filled with anxiety. "On the 28th. And I missed it because I was in a coma. I'm sorry. You can hit me if you'd like. I know that's not enough punishment. You can punish me more later too. But please don't get rid of me. Please."

As she promised, Elizabeth takes a taxi to the hospital to visit Luka. She does not waste any time after seeing the journal entry. Her friend is in need, and it is the same friend that helped her out of handcuffs and helped her after the Conrad fell.

She cannot get there fast enough. Her thoughts have already flown to the worst. So many people die. She sees it all the time, and she would not forgive herself if Luka died alone.

Elizabeth hurries into her room. "Hey, Luka," she says and waves before sitting in the nearest chair. Her gaze searches instinctively for Luka's. "How are you-- What happened? Do you need anything? Can I help with-- Sorry. I didn't mean to ask so many questions so fast."

By the time Elizabeth gets there, Luka's a little bit more awake and alert. "I don't really remember what happened all that well," she says. "At the beginning of September the bad dreams were getting so bad that I bought some drugs from a man who said they would help me stay awake. I don't remember what happened after that but a nice lady angel said that I probably took them. I think I was was asleep for a long time. I don't know why drugs that are supposed to keep me awake would make me sleep for a long time, though."

"September? That was... a long time ago," Elizabeth says with a frown.

Her heart hurts for her friend. There's this pain in the center of her chest that she cannot ignore.

"I think... uhm." She winces and swallows thickly, slipping her hand up into her curls. "I think if you're like-- if you take too many drugs, you can-- It will really hurt you. It can make you die or go into a coma like that. I think you probably took too many. I know nightmares can be really bad and scary but you... you need sleep sometimes too. Need it to live, and it is definitely not good to take too many pills."

"Uhm...I think a coma is what happened. That sounds like the right word." Luka's voice trails off for a bit as she tries to remember what the definition of "coma" is.

"I also forgot about the genetic engineering sometimes making things like drugs work differently for me," Luka goes on after a little bit. "Maybe I can't have as much drugs as other people before bad things happen. Duncan said I'm not allowed to have drugs anymore anyway so I guess it doesn't matter." She shrugs, or at least makes as much of one as she can without messing up the various IV needles in her arms.

"A coma. That's... Yes. It is where you sleep for a long time, and no one can wake you up. It doesn't matter how hard they try or what they do," Elizabeth says, and she is still frowning.

The concern is there. It doesn't want to leave. It can't leave.

"That might be it, and I'm-- I am really glad you can't take any anymore, cause I wouldn't want you to get so sick that you-" She shakes her head. "That you stayed asleep forever."

And she doesn't mean dying. Dying isn't bad. She is intimately familiar with dying, and she would be sad, of course, to lose any one she loves when they die. She would grieve, but death makes sense. It is the thought of being in a coma for years that's terrifying.

Phoebe rushes to the hospital the moment she sees Luka's journal entry. She'd admittedly wondered where her friend had been, but hadn't wanted to ask. Usually, if there's a lull with Wanderers, it means they're gone. Phoebe hadn't wanted to think of Luke or anyone else being gone.

She's clutching a bag filled with entertainment goodies when she pokes her head inside of Luka's room. She tries for a bright smile while her eyes scream their concern.

"Luka? I'm not interrupting sleep or anything am I? I can totally wait outside or...something."

Luka shakes her head. She tries to return Phoebe's smile, but it looks somewhat tired. Phoebe was the first person who got her to smile, though, so Luka'll make the effort to for her friend's sake. "I was asleep for a very long time, they said. I don't think I need to sleep any more for a while. At least not until tonight. I tried to not sleep again ever but it didn't work out so well."

"Can I ask why you didn't want to sleep anymore?" she asks hesitantly, sitting at the foot of the hospital bed gingerly. Phoebe places the bag on her lap and the smile is sincere and filled with affection. She lifts up some of the contents of the bag so Luke can see them. "I brought you my iPod. I made you a playlist so you don't have to listen to all the other songs you might not like. Also got you some movies and books. Anything else you might want, let me know and I'll bring it over."

"The dreams...every night over and over again. I'd wake up after them sometimes with my lip bleeding because I bit it while trying not to scream. They were finally beginning to go away but when Aaron had to go to Russia they came back worse than ever. If I didn't sleep anymore then I wouldn't have the dreams because I wouldn't be sleeping. Then everything would be all right." It totally makes sense in Luka's head. Unfortunately, reality doesn't quite work like that.

Luka perks up when she sees Phoebe's iPod. "You made a playlist for me? Thank you," Luka says. "I like lots of different songs but I will listen to the playlist you made for me first."

Luka thinks. "Could you...could you get me a pastry, please? It doesn't have to be right now because I want to spend time with you first, but I would really like one at some point."

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