Only Now To Fall Into The Grasp Of A Cat

Ariel stumbles upon the dream realm of Yasumi Yumeji, the self-proclaimed Hopeless Nightmare. Yasumi's supposed hopelessness is discussed; however, Yasumi isn't willing to take up Ariel's offer of helping her find hope ... for now.

Date: 2019-03-11
Pose Count: 13
Yasumi Yumeji 2019-03-11 23:50:51 104143
This is a dream of an open field, surrounding a small white house in the style of seventeenth-century Japan which is covered in vines and kudzu. Much like the dream of the mansion, the sky is overcast, and an eerie wind whispers; the plant life all seems generally unhealthy at best, and black or thorny at worst.

Yasumi herself is sitting crosslegged in front of the house, staring listlessly off into space, still dressed in her red and black frills. Somehow, it looks like the dreary scenery fits her like a glove.

Which is to say: it's fairly obvious that this field and house comprise the dream which Yasumi Yumeji came from.
Ariel Theodore 2019-03-11 23:53:50 104144
    It is not like Ariel to come barging into dreams. But the girl tends to wander a lot, every night, letting her whims and instincts carry her. They usually do not lead her wrong, as the little unicorn emerges, mounted on her canine steed, both sniffing the air as though catching a familiar scent.
    A familiar scent indeed, as Lucky starts making an approach for the house- before he and his rider pause.
    "Ah... It's you." That's how Ariel announces herself, when she recognizes Yasumi.
Yasumi Yumeji 2019-03-12 00:02:58 104145
Yasumi jumps to her feet almost before Ariel speaks up, and she frowns at her, a hunted look in her eyes. She stares at Ariel like that for a moment, and then relaxes slightly, putting on her trademark thin-lipped smile. "Goodness gracious me," she says. "I did not expect to see you again so soon. Ariel, was it?"

She glances back at the house. "I would invite you inside," she says, a little too casually, "but quite truthfully, the house has been inaccessible ..." She hesitates. "... my whole life."
Ariel Theodore 2019-03-12 00:10:36 104146
    Oops, Ariel most certainly had not intended to make Yasumi jump like that, and she waits for a beat in the face of that thin smile, before climbing off Lucky's back and nudging the massive hound to wait at some distance.
    "Well." She begins, her own lips pursing as she folds hands behind her back, as non-threatening as can be.
    "Actually I didn't expect to find you either." She admits with full honesty, before her head tilts to a curious angle. "You can't get inside?"
Yasumi Yumeji 2019-03-12 00:18:43 104147
Yasumi frowns, and turns pensively towards the house. "It's sort of an effect of becoming a Nightmare, I suppose," she says. "I was just being facetious there. Quite truthfully, I can't even recall the interior in detail."

She considers this, and walks up to Ariel, peering into the younger girl's eyes for a moment. Then her smile returns, and she takes a step back. "My, my, my," she says. "If my eyes aren't deceiving me, I'd say you're the most peaceful girl I've ever met. Quite the opposite of the last unicorn I ran into." She tilts her head. "And I don't think you have a dishonest bone in your body, either."

She glances over at Lucky. "And you walked right into the heart of a Nightmare's domain without a care in the world. Ariel-san, you are quite the young lady!"
Ariel Theodore 2019-03-12 00:39:39 104148
    Ariel peers up when Yasumi looks into her eyes. She's so small, she has to look up to make eye contact with just about anyone, anyway. But her lips remain pursed. "I don't like to fight." She admits point blank. "I prefer trying to find other ways to resolve conflict, and it's never gone wrong for me, yet." She says, threading her fingers together.
    "My mother once told me that even Nightmares used to be dreams just like she and I. I'm not afraid of you. You haven't given me reason to be." The unicorn says quite plainly. "If you wanted me to be afraid of you, you wouldn't have been so welcoming."
    Well. As welcoming as Yasumi can be considering the situation, as she looks to the house, brow knotting in thought.
Yasumi Yumeji 2019-03-12 00:47:31 104149
Yasumi chuckles. "For myself, attempting peaceful solutions ... has never gone well," she says. "Though in fairness, I cannot imagine I'd give as innocent an impression as you."

She raises her eyebrows. "Your mother spoke correctly, in my case," she says. "I came to exist in, mm ... the fourth year of the Edo period." The year 1606. "And sixteen years later, I ..." She smiles thinly. "Well, you might say I fell in with the wrong crowd, as t'were."

She follows Ariel's gaze to the house. "Well. For all you know, I could have been trying to lull you into a false sense of security, or some such." She doesn't remotely sound like she means it, though.
Ariel Theodore 2019-03-12 01:03:15 104150
    "Mmm." Ariel makes something of a thoughtful murmur. "And why is that?" She asks; curious and without accusation, before shaking her head. "I'm not innocent. I'm young, but I'm not blind." She then counters mildly. But then she listens.
    The wrong crowd. That's one way to put things, though Ariel now understands she's in the presence of a far older dream. But the unicorn shakes her head slowly.
    "You could be doing that." She admits. "But that just wasn't... The feeling that I got from you. It's... Hard to explain." Ariel says with a fidget.
    "You seem more sad than anything else."
    This is stated in the gentlest and most delicate of tones as the girl looks back to the house in another moment of thought. If Yasumi can't get in...
    "... Do you want me to try and open the door for you?"
Yasumi Yumeji 2019-03-12 01:29:12 104151
Yasumi shrugs simply. "Oh, I understand that," she says. "I could see in your eyes that peace is a path you've chosen, fully informed about the ways of the worlds. It's just that there are far too many, in this world and every other, who conflate peace with naivete."

She smiles faintly down at Ariel. "Whereas I am a creature of darkness, much like your vampire friend," she says. "I didn't see her eyes as clearly as I saw yours then and now, but for my part, I am the sort to let my dark urges take me where they will." She shrugs. "Though now ... I am reluctant to harm a unicorn, lest I have another unicorn charging into my field, one who does not have your peaceful eyes."

And then Ariel tells her that she seems sad, and she stiffens up and goes silent for a moment.

"... no," she says finally, in response to the offer. "That shard of His Highness's hope ..." She shakes her head. "It ... I ... I felt ... 'hope' for ... the first time in perhaps centuries." She's staring at the house, with tears in her strange eyes. "I ... even then, I tried to fight against that feeling, because ... as a Nightmare, I ... my nature is ..."

She turns to face Ariel, and suddenly she seems angry, even through her tears. "Well, quite truthfully I am precisely the sort of person whose reaction to seeing your friend was to want to take command of her dream and then try to fill her with enough darkness as I could before you interrupted me!" she says. "Which I then did!

The sky grows darker, and there's a low rumble of thunder. Uh-oh ...
Ariel Theodore 2019-03-12 01:50:40 104152
    Ariel calls it as she sees it. Yasumi seems so sad. But she remains on the topic of conversation for the time being.
    "My mother told me once that gentleness and weakness are two different things." She murmurs softly. "That it's possible to be strong without hurting anyone." And that is how Ariel tries to lead her life. "Even if you're a creature of darkness, that doesn't make you any less of a living being in my eyes. ... Or mom's if you're worried about her. She ah... She's been trying to be very hands off, lately, and I know it's not easy for her."
    But it looks like Ariel's offer to open the door is turned down. And Sadness boils over to anger.
    Ariel remains unmoved, silent and so very small in the face of a centuries old Nightmare and the darkening skies looming ominously overhead, threatening and imposing.
    "Your nature doesn't make you who you are." She says so very gently. And even despite the mounting threat, Ariel braves it. She reaches for Yasumi's hand- and if allowed clasps it warmly in both of her own.
    "You don't need someone else's hope. You need your own."
Yasumi Yumeji 2019-03-12 02:06:45 104153
Yasumi hesitates, and doesn't resist as Ariel takes her white-gloved hand. She tries to blink away her tears, but more of them are forming. She stares at Ariel for a long moment, saying nothing, not responding, and, well, not even trying to hide her sadness now. Really, it should be obvious that Ariel hit the nail right on the head.

But then Yasumi reveals one of her greatest character flaws.

She pulls her hand away, with more force than necessary. "Go away," she rasps, struggling to speak in spite of her tears. She puts on her thin-lipped smile, but it's a lot more brittle than usual. "D-d-didn't I tell you? I'm ... the Hopeless Nightmare." She shakes her head. "Quite truthfully ... I'm ... I'm far, far too gone."
Ariel Theodore 2019-03-12 02:13:50 104154
    Yasumi pulls her hand away. Ariel does not fight it. But she does see the reaction that she's earned herself. The unicorn is silent for a long few beats.
    "Okay." She says.
    "Okay, I'll leave. For now."
    But not before she reaches into her tunic and produces the one thing that every young girl should always carry. Her handkerchief. Which she gently leaves in Yasumi's hand before backing away. "But I don't think you're hopeless." She says suddenly.
    "You clung to the Nightmare Prince's heart like it meant the world to you. You wanted that hope. And just wanting to be hopeful means something, right?" She leaves that as food for thought as she starts making her way towards where Lucky waits, watching with keen eyes to ensure his ward remains safe.
Yasumi Yumeji 2019-03-12 02:20:16 104155
"Ghh ..." Yasumi grabs the handkerchief, and stares at Ariel as she turns to leave. But she doesn't say anything else. Once Ariel reaches Lucky, she pointedly takes a few steps away, and then sits back down near the house, resolutely facing away from Ariel.

And she stares at the handkerchief in her hand.