The Clockmakers Daughter

Nightmare’s Weakness

She was dreaming. Aliya was totally aware that her body was asleep, but she had been shifted. This was not the dream void, either, but somewhere new. Colors swirled around her, light and dark shadows moving between them. There was a presence here, it was vast and it was strong, stronger than she had ever thought to be. Still she refused to be afraid. “Why am I here?” She said plainly.

“We have brought you here to thank you and to give you information.” A bright, feminine, multi toned voice said, “We mean you no harm.”

She recognized the presence now, “Wonderland?” she asked quietly.

A laugh sounded, “We believe you used bitch the last time you spoke of us, but we prefer to be called mother.”

“Ok, if that’s what rocks your boat.” Aliya said, not offended. She had never once called Alice mother, but momma or mommy so it made no difference. “What do you want to tell me?”

“We do have to thank you. We feel so much better since you came home, child.” Invisible fingers brushed the hair out of her face, “We wanted to tell you that Nightmare needs your help, and so do we. He is too weak to build up the energy we need this last trial. We need you to feed him. Our poor child has starved so long.” The voice sounded sad. “We were young when we made him, did not realize what it would take to sustain him.”

She thought for a moment. “So, I have to do it without sex, then right.”

“Correct. The first time you come together will trigger just like with the jokers and the cat.”

“All right then, mother,” she said, “I will find a way to keep us both fed.” She said, starting to fade back to her body.

“Wait. We have a gift for you.” She felt a warm breeze pass over her. “Now you can go to the four lands freely as Nightmare does. We would give you spades if you wanted, but we know you would turn us down.”

“You are right there, but thanks anyway. Later.” She said. She awoke as soon as she was back. Standing she noticed that it was still black outside. She made a bag and started throwing some of her favorite new outfits she had made into it. It was time to visit clover. She made her dad a pot of coffee, knowing he would be up soon, she left a note right by his favorite cup saying that she would be in clover for a while and not to worry over her. Then she set out, deciding not to try the jumping until she was away from the tower.

Aliya chose the field between the tower and the amusement park. She stood still for a moment, a stray wind teasing her long, unbound hair. It seemed to be urging her to go, making her smile. “Ok, mother, I’m going.” She sighed and closed her eyes, thinking only of Nightmare and clover. When she looked again, she stood before the huge tower that he called home. Sensing him nearby, she peeked around the corner of the building to see Grey pulling him out of a crevice in the wall. The fuss he was making made her laugh.

“It’s nasty!” he whined as Gray pulled him to the door by his collar.

“You must take your medicine sir.” He said calmly.

“Yeah.” Aliya said, coming around the corner, “you must be a good boy, Nighty.” She walking up to them. Smiling at Nightmare, she wrapped her arms around Gray’s neck and kissed him, “Want some help?”

“Yes!” Nightmare said, “And where is my kiss?”

“I was talking to Gray.” She stuck her tongue out at him. “But I suppose I should play nice and share.” She held his chin and kissed him softly, slowly feeding him energy as she did. Immediately, sparks flashed between them. His arms started to come around her, but she backed away. Looping her arm through Grays she pulled him away and headed into the tower. “Can you show me a room please?” She smiled prettily up at him, almost laughing at his bemused expression. “I’m afraid I have to stay with you awhile.” They left Nightmare staring after them, cursing under his breath.

“What’s going on, miss?” Gray asked her as they entered her new room. It was simple with a large bed and dresser made of dark wood. The walls were a light green and the flooring stained a light honey color. She liked the way the dark and the light mixed together.

“Truthfully?” she asked him as she threw her bag on the bed, hopping up on the dresser close to him.

“Please.” He said calmly watching her swaying legs.

“I have come to heal Nightmare.” She said honestly.

“How?” He asked, leaning up against the dresser, his arms crossed in front of his chest.

“How much do you know about us?”

“Everything.” He replied, his eyes darkening.

“Oh good, then this will be a quick explanation. I have to feed him energy that I get from others until he is strong enough to help me expand the dreaming void. I have to find a source though, all my lovers are in hearts right now.” She said smiling.

Gray turned a little red, “You have to find a lover?”

“Yes I do. Wanna volunteer?” She asked, laughing outright at the startled look on his face.

“That is not fare!” Nightmare said as he came into the room, “If I can’t then he can’t either.”

Still chuckling she bounced off the dresser. “What do you suggest, Nighty dear?” He opened his mouth, then closed it without saying anything “I would kill a faceless and there is only you and Gray and maybe Ace here.

“So I don’t have a choice?” Gray asked, his yellow eyes glittering.

“Of course you do. I’d don’t do force.” Her eye glowed lightly, showing her annoyance. “I was just teasing you to a bit, I can pop over to hearts anytime I want.” She started to storm out of the room when Gray grabbed her arm, stopping her.

“I’m sorry,” he let her go, unafraid of her glare, “I don’t want to sleep with you because you have to have someone.”

She stared at him for a moment, “Fair enough,” she walked close to him, “When I sleep with you, it will just be for the fun of it.” She trailed a hand down his arm, leaving heat behind. Then she left the room, not even glancing at Nightmare.

“Oh no.” Nightmare said staring after her “you’ve just messed up my friend.

“Why, for telling her the truth. I don’t want to be a part of this game you two have going on. She…” Gray closed his mouth out of frustration.

“Oh, so you need two of us to mother, force feeding us medicine while we vomit blood.” Nightmare said irritated as well.

“What?” Gray asked surprised.

“You don’t know everything, I was fading. Had I passed on, another faceless would have stepped into the role, but they could not have controlled the void.” He stepped to him and put a hand on Gray’s shoulder. “She is saving us all and you just made her feel bad about it. Even knowing her like I do, I still can’t say what she will do.”

Aliya herself was wondering that herself. It wasn’t her fault that she was the way she was, but she still liked it. She liked being strong and she liked that she didn’t have to choose one lover, hurting the rest of them. She was agitated and found herself in the forest of doors.

“Lost, Ally Kat?” Boris said from right behind her. She leaned against him.

“Only a little.” She turned to face him, “Do you mind that I have other lovers?” She looked up into his gorgeous eyes, their slit pupils glittering.

“Ally, I’m just glad I got to have you. Our time together is ours and that we don’t share. It’s enough for this kitty.” He gently kissed her.

“Thanks Boris.” She said smiling at him and snuggling against his chest while he held her.

“Any time, Ally Kat.” They held each other sitting under a few of the trees, just enjoying each other’s warmth. “What happened?”

“Oh it was just something that Gray said to me.” She sat up, over it. “I wonder how I can retaliate.” She said to herself.

Boris laughed, “That’s a wicked look in your eye. I almost feel sorry for him.”

She shared a grin with him, “It will be an amusing game for me, my kitty cat.”

Boris got up, ears twitching. “You have fun, babe, I have a game of my own to tend to.”

“And you have fun chasing your mouse.” She smiled as he took off through the trees. She stood and headed back to clover tower. How do you get even with a man? You make him want you so bad, he can’t stand it. Whether he got it or not was completely optional. She grinned slowly and flashed herself back to clover tower, no longer lost.
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