2010-05-17: Everything SLIDES


Corrin_icon.jpg Misha_icon.jpg

Summary: After the attack on mutant town, Corrin found a dark corner to hide in. Misha finds him by accident.

Date: 05-17-2010

Log Title Everything SLIDES

Rating: PG

The Docks - NYC

A dark, smelly ledge beneath the docks.

Corrin is having a bad day.
Last night, there was an attack in Mutant Town, which Corrin was caught in the middle of—that's bad enough. People died. He fought the attackers and they eventually retreated, which was good; but then he caught sight of Jonothon Starsmore, wreathed in psy-fire. Corrin burned, once upon a time, and the trauma of that has left him with physical scars and a phobia that he can barely deal with… one he can't deal with if he's already stressed. Exit, stage right, panicked.
Twelve hours later, he's found a safe place. There's a line of docks on the East River, used by smaller shipping companies. They're old and rather worn, and some aren't being used at the moment, because the companies they belonged to folded and other companies haven't taken the premises over yet. Corrin has found a niche under one such dock, a ledge that's above the high-water mark, damp and smelly and dark… but quiet and isolated and secret. Several layers of cardboard and newspaper are good enough against the damp, and the smell… well, you can get used to a smell. He's curled up there now, trying to make himself forget Jono burning… and not doing very well at it. He keeps remembering not only the sight but the feel, of his own skin blistering and peeling away…

It's sheer chance that Mikhail is anywhere near you. He's gone and found some trouble again, in the form of some minor drug dealers that he followed here. After listening to them he decided there was nothing worthwhile to be had. They weren't doing anything other than shooting up, and this didn't have any worthwhile amounts of either drugs or money by which to make a stink over. He's even wearing a costume of sorts to mask who he is. Thick, black, motorcycle leathers that add bulk to his slender frame, hiding the SHIELD level kevlar he's wearing beneath. A helmet hides his features, for he totally didn't want a skin tight costume. There's a distinguishing trait to his attire though. One sleeve, the right, is white. Like something leached the dark out of it, with a gradual fade to black at the shoulder.
So it's as he's backing away from the gathering that he makes a mistake.. he didn't check the environment. In spite of the fact he's using his power, and he's not in the real world, it doesn't change how Misha steps back onto nothing and falls. His call of surprise is entirely unheard as he hits a ledge, rolls and then drops entirely down into the water. Or rather onto the shallow ledge beneath the water there two of the pilons are driven. Ow. There he lays a while gathering himself. That really hurt. Thankfully his default is to transfer to the other side, so there he remains.
As he's picking himself, and his dignity, up, the teen notices that he's not alone. That's the ledge he hit on the way down, and there's someone on it. Grateful that the water and muck doesn't translate, for he'd be fully in it, the teen climbs up to that ledge. Can't see you from where he landed. ..And surprise! "Corrin?" Not that you hear him. Shocked, uncertain it's really you, Misha takes off the helmet, puts it down, and a few feet away from you he shifts back. "..Sir?" That rough voice you've heard before. "Corrin?"

Corrin freaks. Sorry, Misha, but he's not firing on all cylinders today.
Misha hits the ledge and Corrin, who was facedown, curled up, and not Paying Attention (tm) to anything else, gets another kick in the mental gears. Bad people, chasing him, hurting him… He makes a kind of hissing gasp and tries to bolt, which means he sits up too fast and hits his head on the underside of the dock. By the time Misha picks himself up, Corrin is curled up again, in pain, seeing stars, and really not thinking straight. He is facing you now, though, which isn't an improvement: he sees the leathers and that becomes body armor, and… "GET AWAY!" He lunges, golden sword aimed straight at Misha's face.

"ARH!" A return cry of surprise as that glowing sword heads right for his face. Misha immediately shifts back to the other dimension and that sword passing through empty air. He kneels there a moment, heart pounding, to give you a chance to gather yourself. Shit, what does he do? Besides move back to the edge of that ledge. As far as he can go without dropping off the edge. Then he shifts back. "Corrin.. It's Mikhail. You stopped a bank robbery, remember? Then there were those iron animals biting your ankles…" His English has improved by leaps and bounds the last few weeks. Sure his accent is still strong, but he's at least using proper grammar now.

Corrin scrabbles back to the far corner of the ledge, his own heart pounding, sword out and shield up, staring around, searching for Bad Guys. They're out there, he just saw one, they… there's another one! "AGH!" Slash!
The space is cramped. This cut doesn't come close enough to cut Misha, though it might worry him anyway. Glowing sword and glowing shield do well to light the space up, though, showing how filthy and messed up Corrin is. His clothes are ragged and he's bruised on his face; there's evidence of more bruising on skin visible through rips in his jeans, but there's so much dirt layered on top that isn't certain. He retreats back to his corner after the slash. He wants out… but that would mean going past Misha, and Misha is SCARY….

Misha certainly doesn't think he's scary. That glowing sword REALLY IS scary though. The teen opts to wait it out. He kneels down on his corner of the ledge, blocking the only means out, and there he watches. Poor, poor Corrin. That worry shows on his features, but it's clear that Corrin can't see that. Sits and waits for that sword to lower a little, even if it takes a long time. This kid is patient. Very, very patient.
And only after that sword is lowered, even if it's a few inches because holding your arm out like that aches after a while, he tries again, "Corrin.. your name is Corrin. You work for the Avengers. We've talked there, at their mansion. Don't you remember?" Quiet, but still that rough voice.

Patience is good. Corrin is really out of it, and he came here to give himself time to get himself put back together. He points the sword at Misha and hisses through his teeth, angry and frightened and his head is still sliding, he's still seeing Jono burning when he blinks, and he can feel his own skin crisping, and the smell…
One good thing about the smell, here: it is both strong and nothing like burning. He can see burning and feel it and hear it and taste it… but he can't smell it. Reality, starting with smell, is chipping away at the whirling chaos inside his head, cementing bits down one at a time. So the big scary armored Bad Guy (tm) in front of him does see his arm drop a couple of inches, several long minutes later, because yes, his arm is getting tired, and besides, the big scary armored Bad Guy (tm) isn't acting the way the big scary armored Bad Guys (tm) in his memory were/are acting, which means the chaos isn't getting reinforced, which means more bits of it are getting nailed down than are being torn loose. It's a slow process though…
And yes, his name is Corrin. But no big scary armored Bad Guy (tm) ever called him that. This is confusing on another level, and the sword rises again. "Go away," he says. Does he know that voice…?

So not moving yet. He's not been attacked, but he does seem to be getting though, and it brings Misha to continue in this manner. Wait and talk quietly. "It's okay, Corrin. I don't want to hurt you." The promise is an earnest one. See, he's done this before. Not with glowing swords, but waiting out the insane. The boy took care of his aunt for years, having to be the adult in the relationship. "Do you remember the botanical gardens? The Victorian exhibit?" Patiently, and with as gentle a voice as he can manage, the teen continues speaking. He tells of the gardens. The booths, the people, the flowers, and even the iron animals people eventually put in bags. Quite pointedly leaves out the sliding mind after Corrin was helped away by the teen. No, not reminding him of that.

Corrin watches Misha, intensely focussed. BadGuyBadGuyBadGuy..
Victorian exhibit. Display. Booths. Market. Iron animals… nasty animals. "Nasty animals," he mutters, and the hand not holding the sword moves down to rub his ankle. The sword arm is now resting on his upraised knee, because he's tiring. Not a lot of stamina to begin with, truth be told.
He is trying to stay focussed on the gardens. He likes gardens. He liked the Victorian exhibit. He wants to think about those things, but his brain keeps… "Burning," he blurts out. "I'm burning."

Pleased that Corrin has shown signs of remembering, the teen really wishes this could go faster. He knows that it will continue as long as Corrin let's it continue though, so he rests back on his heels, hands before him. Sure he's a little dirty now, but that's ignored. "Yes, nasty animals." Agreement there. "They bit and rammed us. We caught them with bags and cut them up. Do you remember?"
Burning? Misha blinks at this, uncertain. Not like he's a degree in this stuff. "No, Corrin, you aren't." All he can try to do is assure. "I promise, you aren't burning. There's no fire. There's no smoke. This is memory. Only memory." He's guessing anyway. "You don't have to remember the bad things. It's okay. Think of the Avengers instead. Can you tell me about there? Who do you work with? What do you do. Corrin.. the Avengers. Tell me about the Avengers."

"I KNOW!" That he's not burning. Corrin understands that, but he can't convince himself of it, not when his mind is flooding with memories and sensations like this. It's not an off/on switch, and even if it were, that switch would be on one of those sliding bits of his head, the ones that are whirling like a cyclone in the center of him, and him without a broomstick to fly after that particular key…
"Keep talking," he manages. The sword is still there, but the tip is down, resting on the ledge. The shield has disappeared. Not a lot of stamina left. "Keep talking."

Misha doesn't let the shouting rattle him. "It's only memory." He repeats patiently, and with that he does talk. Since Corrin can't talk about the Avengers, the teen does the talking for him. Tells about the bank robbery, about their talk at the Mansion, and finally just starts telling about the students and teachers at the Barnes Academy. Boy does he talk. Talk and talk, and resist the urge to thunk you head into the ledge, talk and talk…
And with that resistance, the teen motions a hand towards the man. "Corrin?" Doesn't move from that spot, but reaching a hand out. Going to attack him again?

Corrin has his head resting in the corner of the niche, face turned partly away, listening to the talking. He'll talk himself, sometimes, a word or a gesture… and you're right, he won't talk about the Avengers. Security, you know… which gets in the way again, when Misha branches out from Barnes Academy to SHIELD. "Fury," he repeats, when Misha mentions the name. "Mustang officer," which likely means nothing to the young man. Corrin won't explain what he means, either, and his sword, which blinked out of existence sometime during the Barnes comments, comes back if he's pressed. "National security," he says, pointing the thing at Misha's face again. He regards the extended hand with troubled eyes, though.

Misha doesn't ask about Fury and Mustang. The teen asked once, and then avoided doing so. He's making mistakes, but at least he's learning. So by the time he attempts to creep forward, that National Security threat is long over. Will Corrin let him creep forward to kneel in arms reach? Little by little he slides forward, talking himself hoarse, hoping to get the chance to touch. He thinks that will help. And if he can get close he touches Corrin's arm. Nothing so vulnerable as face or chest, but merely an arm. Leather creaks softly as he moves, being new, but the smell here drowns out everything else. The water almost over laps the sound of leather as it stands. "I don't need to know your secrets." He assures. "I only want to help."

The sound of Misha talking helps. Helps a lot. It gives Corrin something to focus on that isn't what's inside his head. By the time Misha is creeping forward, the sword is long gone, and Corrin is too exhausted to react to his proximity. He's no longer keying on Misha's bulk and equating it with the Bad Guys of memory, so he only shivers when Misha touches him. "Misha," he says at last, first time he's used Misha's name. "I'm in pieces. Sorry."
"Yes, Misha." If only Corrin could see the warm smile at that. It sure sounds in his rough voice though. He shifts the hand to shoulder as there's so little reaction. "You don't have to be sorry." No need to be at all.

Still so very careful of everything he does, the teen lightly rubs at that shoulder. Little, soothing contacts. Confirmation of no fire and no badguys. If Corrin calms enough for it he removes the glove he's wearing and even touches the man's hair. Careful, gentle, and so very patient. "It happens sometimes." People being in pieces. "And there's no reason for you to apologize. Take your time. I'll help if there's anything I can do." Besides talk at Corrin.

Corrin is reacting; he's shivering. It gets more and more pronounced until, when Misha touches his hair, he jerks and ducks to hide his face. His voice comes out sounding a bit hollow from the space between his knees. "Pieces," he says again. And, "burning pieces. I remember burning, Misha. And it's all I remember." Which is a big admission for him; Misha won't know that, though. That Corrin hasn't admitted to remembering nothing else, to anyone, ever before. "Everything SLIDES. It won't stay still…!"

The ducking has the touch stopping. Sigh. Can't do anything right here. He fights making any sound of frustration, and focuses in on what's being said to him. "Does it need to stay still?" Misha doesn't understand of course. How could he? Not willing to back off entirely, the young man grips Corrin's wrist. "You were remembering things earlier, Corrin. Remembering more than burning. It's all there. The problem, I think, is that you are afraid." Which he can totally understand. If he thought he were burning he'd be terrified too. "If things slide, why not slide them out of the way. Clean the plate, as it were." He's so going to make this worse.

Well, yes. Things get worse. "Everything's burning, Misha! Everything! If I look at it, it burns! If I think about it, it burns! When I touch it, it burns! And they SLIDE! They won't stay still! They keep being places I don't expect them to be, and I BURN!" Corrin is almost shrieking by the end of that, and he's trying very hard to become one with the concrete at the back of the niche. If nothing else, Misha knows he doesn't have the power of intangibility.

Misha feels so lost by this point. So very much in over his head. He's frowning through the shouting, wondering what to do. A glance over head and he slaps Corrin, a downward smack, as the man reaches SLIDE. There are people over head who can hear and will come to find the two. "Stop." A solid, firm command. "You are not burning. Look at me." If being kind doesn't help, he tries being firm and shakes the man. "Look. At. Me. Focus on me. I am not sliding. I am not burning. I am here with you. Corrin, focus on me. You can do this if you calm down." Hopefully before anyone hears the screaming and comes to investigate.

The smack interrupts the cycle of panic; Corrin shuts up, blinking, internally clawing toward Misha's voice. He knows Misha is making sense; he's just getting sabotaged by his own memory. Repeatedly. He's hair-triggery at the moment, and he knows it, which is why he came down here—get out of the way. Get where things won't keep setting him off. Get some rest.
He doesn't look at Misha, but he does reach for and grip the younger man's arm. "You're not burning. You're not sliding. I KNOW." Gasp. "I AM. Misha, I'm sorry. I'm trying. I'm sorry."

"I'm here." No chiding for what happened. Nor does the teen explain about the people who may hear. That'd only frighten Corrin further. Nor does he stop that hold. The teen returns it even as he keeps talking. "Let me be your anchor, Corrin. Keep trying." Just don't start shouting again. "You're doing it." Not that he has any idea if the man really is, but the teen encourages. "You can talk back to me now. You couldn't before. You know my name." And so the talking goes on if Corrin needs it.

Talk. A lot of talk. A morning, then an afternoon of talk. Corrin calms down… and cycles through panic again, and calms, and panics, and calms… with each spell of calm getting longer, and each spell of panic getting shorter, and quieter. No one comes to investigate the noises, which is the best luck either man has had all day.
And Corrin ends up mumbling with exhaustion. "'M filthy," he mutters, some time later when the sun is lowering in the sky, and evening rush hour is making the usual background traffic hum drone that much louder. "Need a bath." Sigh. "Need sleep. Need…" Misha feels him go tense. "Oh, god. I missed work!"

Misha can't help but laugh as Corrin exclaims about work. He's exhausted too. This has been a very long time here. Sitting, being Corrin's anchor on reality, the teen secretly wished to be elsewhere, and yet never lost his temper the whole time. Encouraged, talked, reminded, smacked if needed, and all in all sat there and babysat. A nudge, and a tweak to get Corrin's attention. "I can call someone for you. Who? Do not be worrying about work, Corrin. Who should I call?"

Call. Call someone. Yes. Corrin runs a hand through his mucky hair and says, "Jarvis." He gives the number. "Tell him… tell him I'm sorry. I'm sick. I… I'm sorry. I'll come see him… not tomorrow. The day after." He's going to be wobbly tomorrow too, he knows it. This was a bad episode. He needs sleep and quiet and he won't have enough of those before the day after tomorrow. "Tell him I'm sorry."
Jarvis is going to fire him. Corrin knows this. He sighs, and regrets it, but que sera.

"Okay." Hand to Corrin's shoulder still, having let the man curl around him somewhat, Misha digs out a cell phone from a pocket on a leg. The number is dialed and he holds it to his ear, waiting for the pick up. "Hello, I need to speak to a Jarvis, please.." The call doesn't last that long, but it's a relief in a lot of ways. Someone who isn't sliding. "I'm calling for Corrin. No, sir, he's alright, but he can't come to the phone right now. No, sir, it's okay. He'll be back when he can and will explain then. Okay. Of course. Thank you, sir.."
Hanging up, he tucks the phone away. "He's worried about you." To assure Corrin, "But didn't sound mad. Asked that you call him once you can. Corrin, he deals with Avengers. I'm sure he understands when trouble happens." A grip to Corrin's shoulder. "Now.. we need to get you somewhere. Can you walk?"

Corrin can. He's wobbly, but he can. Misha doesn't even have to hold him up (much). He'll crawl out of the niche — this means getting down into the water, which makes him that much more filthy — and gets up onto the dock. He's calm enough, but he won't look up. He watches his shoes, the pavement… trying hard not to look at anything that might trigger him and get his head sliding again. Really, he's trying, and he apologizes like a metronome.
He doesn't have a place of his own, and he doesn't think he can deal with the hostel he's been staying at, so he'll direct Misha to take him to a cheap hotel. He needs the solitude.

Misha doesn't worry about the helmet he leaves in the other dimension. He can come back for it. The teen helps Corrin with the same patience he's shown all day, and gets the man to where a taxi can be hailed. His attire isn't so strange that it will really stand out, but Corrin's filth will. Pointedly ignoring that, Misha hails a cab and gets Corrin in it. Pays the driver and gives him direction to a hotel. No, the teen doesn't plan on going with. Hopefully some sleep can help Corrin function enough to return 'home'.

Taxi. Hotel. SLEEP. Corrin spends the next day getting himself sorted out, and thinking about Misha. He's got to do something for him. Something good. Something special. Something he'll like. Because Corrin owes him, and big time.
But oh… he is not looking forward to talking to Jarvis….

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