trigons_child: (Comic Scan: Watching)
[personal profile] trigons_child
The sudden rush of terror woke Raven before the screams could. Instinctively knowing the source, she quickly got out of her bed and hurried to one of the rooms where the children were sleeping.

She'd moved into the new suite of rooms Karla had given her -- or, rather, the staff had moved her in what seemed a blink of the eye. With three extra rooms now, each with two or three beds, she had room for some of her orphan charges to spend a night or longer with her. Sometimes it was a treat of sorts, to come to the Estate for a visit, but more often it was because she sensed a need for more time with a particularly troubled child. Children were resilient, but some still carried deep scars from the war.

As she already knew, it was Karina who struggled with a nightmare. Five-year-old Prinda was huddled in her own bed, wide-eyed and staring, and her older brother Jens had gotten up and was trying to shake Karina awake as she whimpered and thrashed. Raven sent both the other children a warm burst of comfort as she sat on the edge of Karina's bed and gathered the girl in her arms. "It is all right, dear one," she whispered, rocking the girl as she wrapped her in a gentle blanket of peace. "No one can hurt you now. You are safe here with me." Karina clung to Raven, crying as the nightmare began to fade.

Karina was only the name they called the girl. She'd been found wandering alone shortly after Karla had claimed Sidra, and no one could locate any family. Nor did they know her name -- the girl had not spoken a single word since she'd been taken to one of the local orphanages. Whatever trauma she had experienced kept part of her mind locked away, and only in her dreams did it sometimes creep out. Ulrich had brought her to Raven's attention not long ago, and since then Raven had been trying to find a way to help her. She judged the girl to be about six years old, and had given her a name since she would not speak her own.

"I tried to wake her up, Lady Raven," Jens said solemnly. "She has nightmares a lot."

Raven smiled at the boy and touched a hand to his cheek. "I know," she said. "And thank you for trying to help her. You should go back to sleep now." She looked over at Prinda. "You as well, little one. Tomorrow should be a lovely day, and we will go visit the gardens in the morning."

She turned her gaze to the door, where three more worried faces, older children who had been sleeping in the room next door, were peering inside. "Everything is all right," Raven said. "It was just a bad dream. The rest of you need your sleep, so back to your room, please."

Karina was sniffling quietly, still clinging tightly as Raven brought her back to her own room. "My bed is more than big enough for us both," she said as she settled them both upon it. "You will sleep here with me, and I will keep the nightmares away."

Karina shook her head. No, she seemed to say without words. The nightmares never went away.

"Oh, but you know I have special powers, do you not?" Raven said with a smile. "I can guard your dreams against anything unpleasant. I promise you that. Do you trust me?"

The girl still looked skeptical, but she nodded to indicate her trust. "Then just close your eyes and relax," Raven said, bending her head to kiss Karina's forehead. "I will keep you safe."

Raven leaned back against the headboard of her bed and let Karina get comfortable curled against her. She still seemed reluctant to drop back into sleep, so Raven soothingly stroked her soft blonde hair, thought for a moment, then began to sing. She hadn't really sang since she'd graduated from Fandom -- except the one time she'd needed to do so to save the world and all -- because her heart had been too heavy. But she remembered the words of the song easily enough.

Story books are full of fairy tales
Of kings and queens and the bluest skies
My heart is torn just in knowing
You have seen the truth from lies

When the clouds will rage in
Storms will race in
But you will be safe in my arms
Rains will pour down
Waves will crash around
But you will be safe in my arms

Castles – they might crumble
Dreams may not come true
But you are never all alone
Because I will always love you

When the clouds will rage in
Storms will race in
But you will be safe in my arms
Rains will pour down
Waves will crash around
But you will be safe in my arms


Karina finally allowed herself to drift off to sleep, and this time Raven wrapped her in a protective cocoon of love and hope to keep any nightmares at bay. She'd done this plenty of times before in the past, though this was the first time with this particular child. For now she just shielded the girl, wondering if she could convince her to trust Raven enough to allow her access to her dreams so that she could find the source of them. She preferred not to inject herself into the nightmares without permission -- Karina had already been through enough trauma.

Karla or another Black Widow might be able to help as well, though Raven had had to work hard to win this much of Karina's trust. She'd also thought about bringing Karina to Fandom to see Dr. Lecter, but though she'd made a peace of sorts with Jono during her last visit to Fandom, she hadn't spoken to Hannibal in over a year.

She decided she'd see what she could do herself to start, and if she could make no progress, she would explore other options. For now, she'd ensure the girl got a good night's sleep by protecting her dreams.

Wrapping one arm around Karina, Raven reached for her phone with the other. She was going to browse or read for awhile before letting herself fall asleep as well.

[Quietly open for texts or anyone who might happen to be in Glacia. May be SP while I am trapped in a meeting about how ~*~fun~*~ our new office structure is going to be. :-| ]
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Raven

March 2016

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