AN: I had this idea last night, as I lay awake and resisted sleep as long as possible. Hehe, the mind does weird things at night. Also, Garfield might seem kind of well, I suppose mean or uncaring here, but he will change, that is the point of the story. So I hope you all enjoy the first chapter of Dreams.
Garfield dragged his feet as he walked towards the large iron gates that separated the large, clean yard and large, white building from the parking lot and street. Garfield came to a stop and sighed, gazing through the gates at the beautiful yard inside; rose gardens and paths set with benches and trees filled the area, but no matter how nice or beautiful it was, it didn't change the fact of what this place was. This was an asylum, housing the crazy and unstable people of Jump City, and Garfield Logan was about to start his new job there.
Reaching out hesitantly, he pushed the doorbell and waited. "Hello?" a voice rang back through the speaker at the entrance, important and harsh.
"Yeah, uh, hi. My name is Garfield Logan, I'm here to do community service?" he spoke back into the speaker and waited, fidgeting. His advisor had recently told him that he was way behind on his community service and would need to do about eight weeks of it before he could even begin catching up with everyone else.
"Ah, yes, Mr. Logan, please come in." The voice rang back briskly and the gates began to swing open, waiting for him to enter.
Sighing, Garfield walked forward and headed up towards the large building. He had told his teacher that he wanted to work at an animal shelter to make it up, but instead he had been assigned here, the Jump City Mental Health Home. It wasn't really; okay it was his fault that he was more interested in video games then doing community service like the rest of his class had been doing for a long time. But shouldn't he at least be able to choose what he wanted to do with the time he was sacrificing? He kicked a pebble in annoyance as he trudged up the gravel path. Reaching the door, he sighed once more before he entered.
It wasn't that bad, he reasoned with himself. It looked kind of like a doctor's waiting room, lots of chairs, a few TVs and magazines for entertainment. At a desk against the far wall a woman sat at a computer typing, occasionally glancing down at some files next to her. She glanced up as Garfield came in.
"You must be Garfield." Her pink eye's studied him for a moment. "Welcome to our humble home." She gave a course laugh as she stood and extended her hand. "My name is Jinx." There was something about her that reminded Gar of a cat, maybe it was the way her hair was held in the two pigtails. He liked cats. "So, community service, huh? Well buddy, don't expect to get more hours then you put in, around here, we don't give extra credit, what you do is what you do, if you don't work for an hour, and just goof off, don't expect to see that hour in your time." But not this cat.
"So, uh, what am I supposed to do here?" He asked as he shifted from foot to foot. Besides Jinx, there was no one around, he hadn't seen anyone else, outside or in.
"You'll be looking after some of our patients, the ones who need a little extra attention. Your job is to keep them happy and comfortable. How does that sound?"
Garfield shrugged. "Reasonable." Jinx nodded before gesturing to a chair. One of our nurses will be right out to show you around, in the meantime," She sifted through he pile of folders and thrust a couple of them at him. "On the index cards, write down the persons name, aliments and medication." Garfield flipped open one of the folders to find a blank index card and a information stabled to the folder. Sighing, he began to work. 'Mr. Joe Light, suffers from obsession…" before he could get any farther, a door swung open and a girl slightly older then Garfield slipped in, her long red hair tied up into ponytail and her green eye's focused on another portfolio.
"Kori, there you are." Jinx snapped without looking up from her computer. The nurse looked up and immediately spotted Garfield.
"You must be Garfield Logan." She grinned as she closed the folder. "It is most wonderful to meet you!" she offered her hand for Garfield to shake and her grin broadened as he took her hand. Out of the corner of his eye, Gar saw Jinx roll her eyes and mutter something. "My name is Kori Anders."
"Hi Kori." Garfield nodded.
"Come with me please, I'll show you around before introducing you to the patient you have been assigned. This is the dining hall, everyone comes here to eat, including staff, that's our table, you'll sit with us at lunch." She gestured to a large table in the corner of the room, the rest of the tables were smaller, seating only four or five. The space was open with large windows and altogether pleasant. Pictures hung on the walls and a fireplace was built into one of the walls, obviously there for the winter. "Moving on, this way…" Kori dragged Garfield further down the hall to another room. "And here we have the rec room!" The room was large and a large TV sat at one end with cushions and couches placed around it. There were some board games on tables on the other side of the room and some bookshelves with large chairs centered around them. No video games what so ever. In a corner of the room, a young man was reading, spiky black hair covered his head and his brown eyes were focused completely on the material in front of him.
Kori grinned and made her way over to him. "Richard, what are you reading?" The man looked up and smiled warmly.
"Kori, I'm just doing some research on Slade! I swear he won't get away this time." His brow furrowed and he turned back to the in his hands. Kori's smiled never faltered, though Garfield wasn't really sure what the hell was going on, seeing as the book Richard was reading was about horses and not… Slade.
"I'm glad that you have almost caught the master mind. When you do, you will let me know, yes?" Kori grinned as the man nodded. Turning she left him and hurried back over to Garfield. "That is one of our patients, Richard Grayson. He was hit over the head quite hard a few years ago and no he thinks he's a cop. He is, of course, one of our more minor cases." She grinned once again. "He is very nice though, you should try to get to know him now that you are working here."
Continuing with the tour, Kori showed Garfield the different floors and taught him the different names of people they ran into and the rules of the place. It was noon by the time she had finished, and Garfield was sure he would never be able to find his way around. There were so many floors and so many winding hallways; he would be lost the instant Kori left his side. Checking her watch, Kori smiled.
"It looks like lunch time, I will introduce you to your charge after we eat." Garfield nodded, food sounded good, he was usually hungry, but all this new information had him starving.
Lunch was decent enough, lukewarm pasta and salad, chicken had also been offered, though Garfield couldn't bring himself to touch. He had once had a pet chicken… The other staff members he met were nice too, a woman named Bee, a few other nurses like Kori, one including her sister who seemed to like to talk a lot. Sighing, Garfield checked his wristwatch as he followed Kori obediently down the hall. It was 12:30 P.M and he had promised to stay till at least three, everyday to earn his community service. Kori led him along the third floor passageway to the end of the hall, to the final door. Though there were other rooms, Garfield noticed that they all had the sign 'vacant' except the one they stood in front of now. Kori stopped and turned to her companion.
"I wish you good luck, I realize that you don't have the easiest person to look out for, but I believe that she is the one who truly needs the attention." Garfield shrugged and accepted the key and folder Kori offered him. Smiling, Kori gave him a final nod before skipping off down the hall.
Garfield stared at the key for a moment, wondering what kind of person awaited him on the other side of the door. Someone who babbled nonsense? Garfield prepared himself for the worst as he slipped the key into the lock and pushed open the door, closing his eyes. When no sound greeted him, he peaked out of one eye and was surprised by what he found. The room was normal, white like the rest of the building, but still normal. A bed was set against the wall in a corner and a small shelf full of books was placed next to it. A single chair was at the foot of the bed, and the only window in the room was blocked by its shade, which had been pulled down.
What caught Garfield's interest though was the occupant of the room, a girl who looked roughly two or three years older than him. Her short, purplish hair brushed her shoulders, and instead of babbling incoherently, she sat quiet and still, not even glancing up as Garfield entered the room. For the first time, Garfield flipped open the folder he had been given. The picture was that of the girl in front of him, maybe a year or two younger than she was now. Next to the picture was her name: Raven. No last name followed.
Looking back up, Garfield shifted uncomfortably; it would have been a lot easier if Raven noticed him instead of just sitting there. Clearing his throat uncertainly he spoke up. "Um, Raven?" no answer. "Hi, I'm Garfield, I was told I'm going to be working with you for a while. You see I'm doing community service…"
"Do you want an award?" A harsh voice interrupted him as the girl looked up at him, her striking purple eyes cold and uncaring.
"Uh, what?" Garfield stammered nervously.
Raven glared at him. "What? Do expect a prize for being here, for helping me? I don't need your help."
"Umm, well, no, I don't expect a prize, I just need to do community service and they assigned me here, they said to help you with your… umm…"
Raven scoffed. "Go ahead, say it. I know, problems, right? That's what everybody else says. Everybody else who has tried to 'help me'."
Garfield blinked. She was so blunt, so cold. How was he supposed to do this, work with her when it was obvious she wasn't the slightest bit interested in him?
Raven gazed at him coldly, "Why don't you leave now."
"I can't, I have to stay till three."
"Then go 'help' someone else, I'm not interested."
Anger flared within Garfield. He hadn't done anything to Raven and she was biting his head off for no reason. "Look, I can't do that, this is where I was put and you are just going to have to get used to it. Eight weeks of community service is all I need, and then I'll be gone okay?" He growled. Raven didn't even flinch; she just continued to glare at him, purple eyes narrowed.
Garfield waited for a moment taking a deep breath, he needed to calm down, and it probably wasn't Raven's fault that she had a bad attitude, it was probably just something that landed her here. He closed his eyes for a minute as he thought. What did people do when they were faced with someone like this? "Would you like to play a game, cards, a board game?" The thought seemed good to him, he had seen movies and read stories about people looking after mental health patients, and they had always included games. Maybe Raven would like that.
"No." Her cold voice cut through him, slicing harshly. Her glare had narrowed even more, Garfield had always though the old expression 'if looks could kill, I'd be dead' was exaggerated until now. The way Raven was looking at him was extremely frightening. Gulping nervously, he searched his brain for something else. Reading? Raven looked like a person who might like books.
"How about I read to you?" he asked. Raven's expression charged immediately. It went from a glare to disbelief, hurt and finally anger in less then a second. She rose and, though she was about an inch or so shorter than Garfield, she seemed to tower over him.
"Get out." She hissed. "Now. I am perfectly able to read on my own. I don't need help." She growled as Garfield groped for the doorknob behind him, terrified. "I can read perfectly well on my own. Leave."
To Garfield, Raven was insane. All he had wanted to do was try and make her feel better, but she was throwing a fit because of it!
Garfield found his escape and quickly opened the door, slipped out and slammed in behind him. He walked down the hall as quickly as he could and sighed as he turned the corner. He spotted Kori walking down toward the elevator and quickly hurried over to her.
"Kori!" the nurse looked up. "Raven's throwing a fit or something. I asked her a question and she went berserk!" Kori's brow furrowed.
"Thank you, I shall go a check on her, I think you've had enough for today, why don't you head home now." Garfield nodded as Kori scurried off. "Oh and remember to check out with Jinx before you go!" she called over her shoulder.
The pink haired woman raised an eyebrow as she saw Garfield. "Had enough already?"
"No, but Kori says I should go home, Raven got mad." Jinx scoffed.
"I don't doubt that. So you will be back tomorrow?" Garfield nodded. "Good. Here." She handed him a scrap of paper with some numbers scribbled down. "It's the code for the gate. Memorize it, or you'll be very sorry when you lose that scrap." Jinx warned him before she turned back to the computer. "I'll open the gate for you on your way out." Jinx mumbled as he left.
Garfield hurried down the street toward his home, caught up in his thoughts. What had been up with Raven? She had flipped out for no reason? Did she have anger issues? Was something wrong with her? 'Well, obviously something was wrong with her,' Garfield told himself. 'She's in an asylum, why else would she be there?' Garfield had his doubts about returning tomorrow, it seemed like his 'assignment' now hated his guts, and just because he had offered to read, maybe she didn't like books. But it wasn't just that, the first time she had spoken her voice had been full of hatred. Shrugging, Garfield concluded to simply grin and bare it, he only had to deal with it for eight weeks and then he could get out of there and never have to see Raven again.
Garfield stared in concentration at the keypad. Was it 2265897 or 22565879? Maybe 22586997? Or maybe had memorized it backwards and it was really 9785622. Slumping against the wall he groaned. Jinx had told him to come right at nine and he had dragged himself out of bed an hour early simply to now be locked out. Life was cruel to Garfield Logan.
"Locked out? He turned to see Kori grinning at him, as she walked through the parking lot toward him.
"I could be, or maybe I'm just resting." He defended himself quickly.
Kori rolled her eyes and went to unlock the gate; Garfield watched the numbers she entered, 2265789. "I knew it was something like that." He mumbled. Kori laughed as the gate opened and the two walked in together.
"So, uh, you think I'll be okay with Raven? I mean, she got pretty mad at me yesterday. Maybe it would be better for us both if I worked with someone else?" Garfield asked, half hoping that Kori would agree and switch his duties.
"I think that you two just got off to a rocky start. As I said yesterday, Raven is complicated, she first came here when she was much younger, I think she was around fifteen. No one knows a lot about her, her past or anything like that. I believe it is a good idea for you to continue with her, if not to simply discover more about her."
"Big chance of that happening." Garfield murmured as the two entered the building, but Kori did not hear him, she had already disappeared.
Sighing, Garfield nodded to Jinx as he walked past her to the elevator. He waited tensely for the car to reach the main floor before he popped in and punched the button for the third floor. What would Raven do today? Kill him? He shuddered at the thought of spending the whole day with her; a mere five minutes had ended disastrously. The elevator dinged, announcing that the third floor was on the other side of the doors, and as they opened, Garfield took a deep breath and stepped out. As the doors closed behind him, he couldn't help the feeling of dread that sunk into his stomach. The hall seemed to stretch forever, making his nervousness increase with every step he took. Finally reaching his destination, he took a deep breath before fishing the key out of his pocket and fit it into the lock.
He was about to open the door, but something struck him, would he want someone simply bursting into his room? No matter how messed up Raven was, he should respect her privacy. Gently, he rapped at her door. Nothing. No answer. He knocked again. And again no answer came back to him. Maybe she was out, downstairs in the rec room or out on the grounds? Still he should check here.
"Raven?" he called softly. "Raven, are you there? I'm going to come in okay?" still no reply, no snide remark came.
Sighing, he pushed the door open, expecting to see an empty room, and preparing himself go running around to find his missing charge. But, as it turned out, Raven was there. She sat in the same chair as she had yesterday. She stared blankly ahead, seemingly oblivious to everything else in the room. A book lay in her lap, opened to what looked like the middle, and a black feather lay in between the pages. Garfield studied her, the way she sat hunched over made her look smaller than she actually was, her rare purple eyes had a tone of sadness to the, one that Gar hadn't picked up on yesterday when he had first met her.
"Raven?" he spoke quietly, trying to gain her attention without startling her. Though she didn't respond, he noticed that her eyes had focused and now were gazing at him. "Hi?" he spoke nervously, unsure of what might set her off.
He watched as she straightened from her slumped position and tucked a lose piece of hair behind her ear. "Why are you here?" she snapped though she didn't really seem angry, more annoyed then anything else.
"I told you yesterday, I have eight weeks of community service to do, and here is where I'm going to spend them." He said firmly. He watched Raven's expression; she had turned simply her head to face him, her eyes were narrowed ever so slightly, in a half glare but there was something else that Garfield couldn't quite recognize, some emotion that he had never seen before.
"Fine." Raven growled before her head lowered back to her book and she continued to read. "I don't care if you stay, but like I said yesterday, I don't need any of that 'help' you have to offer." Garfield shrugged.
"As long as I get my hours, I'm happy." He crossed the room and flopped down on Raven's bed. "What are you reading?"
"Something that I don't need you to read to me." Raven snapped, sending a glare in his direction.
Garfield lifted his hands in defense. "Okay, okay. I just wanted to know." He leaned his head back against the wall. Sooo bored. What was he supposed to do, just sit here and wait till three? Maybe he could convince Raven to go outside so her could get some fresh air, or at least she could raise her shade and open the window.
"Why don't you open your window, Raven. It's a nice day out…" he stood and began to move toward the window when he heard the book Raven was reading drop to the floor.
"Don't, leave it closed." She growled as she watched him.
"Come on, we'll just raise the shade and get some natural light in here." he wheedled with her as he fingered the material.
"No!" Raven lunged forward to stop him, but when she had nearly reached him she hesitated, hand out stretched as if to stop him, but not quite touching him. Garfield had let go of the shade at her shout but still stood next to the window. He watched her, the beautiful purple eyes almost fearful as she stared at him.
"Don't open it." She snapped as she again moved forward finally to block the window from him as he moved away.
"Okay Raven, chill." He moved back to his spot on the bed and sat down. She watched him with reproachful eyes before moving back to her seat and retrieving the fallen book.
"I don't se why you have to be here." Raven sighed unhappily as she brushed off her book carefully. "I don't need company, I don't need 'help', I just want to be alone." She murmured softly. "I never asked for someone to be here." Garfield said nothing, her voice seemed so… sad. He wasn't sure what was really going on, but he it seemed that there was more to the situation than he had originally thought. Sighing, he once more leaned his head back against the wall as Raven returned to her book and he silently counted the seconds until lunch.
To be continued…
There we go, finished. Chapter six of Blue Bird will be coming out soon, Saturday at the very latest. I want to know what everyone thought of this so please remember to review. Thank you!