Title: Nightmares 1
Author: Ayaia of the Moon
Pairing: Score/Helaine
Fandom: Diadem: Worlds of Magic
Theme: #26. If only I could make you mine
Disclaimer: I own Diadem! Really! Am I lying? Yes! But I wish I weren't…

-o-

Helaine had never been scared for herself like she was now. She'd come to accept that she was a magic-user. She'd even come to accept that she was one of the most powerful magic-users in the Diadem. But it was too much when her jewels made her even stronger than that.

Even here, on Ordin: an Outer Rim world of the Diadem, she was feeling the effects of her jewels bonding strangely with her. She supposed it had something to do with jewels she possessed; in particular, her agate – it was by far the most problematic.

It used to be that she could concentrate through her agate to communicate with someone's mind. Now, she could do it almost without thought: as long as the jewels were on her person, she could expect, lately, to pick up on and communicate in turn with the mind of another without consciously being aware of it; especially if she knew them and their thought-patterns well enough already. Especially her three friends: those with whom she shared most of her time and space.

She'd had the fleeting thought, at first, to ask Flame about it; Unicorns surely had come to have this sort of problem before? But she hadn't' yet dared, deciding instead to try to solve the problem herself first.

And then it was so tempting to just let her mind pick things up. Before she realized how chaotic and crazy her mind started to turn from the confusion.

Score was enigmatic. Helaine had quickly realized that not everything he thought was as it seemed. He was so immersed in jokes and random information, that it took a while for her to realize it was just the surface nonsense.

Deeper, he had exhausting thought circles concerning Traxis and the Triad; Shanara and Bad Tony: he was always thinking about how to better himself against what he'd seen he could become. Whether it be Bad Tony or Traxis.

The only mind more exhausting than Score's constantly-moving one was Pixel's. He always had one or two puzzles brewing under the surface; it was like he kept several separate minds, efficient enough to pitch in simultaneously. Pixel was always thinking about dull things that she didn't understand, though. He'd been working on a sort of magically-powered grid for his 'eleck-trick-city' to power their castle on Dondar for ages, now. He'd never said a word about it.

She had come to know that Pixel hardly ever presented a plan to anyone without first having puzzled about it long enough so as to work out the kinks with it. That was why it was so hard to argue with him: He'd already argued the same points with himself a thousand times over.

Jenna, oddly, was the relief in this maelstrom of thoughts that barraged Helaine's mind. She had such a concentration with things that it blocked Helaine out, unless she intended to pry. She'd grown up in simplicity, memorizing the names and uses of healing plants, as well as the ailments that the people in her village came by regularly. She had loved those people; she always gathered extra herbs to soothe coughing in the fall, because a girl in her village came by a cough annually. She'd regularly made salves in advance to sooth cuts and scrapes in the summertime, when the children of her village would play too hard.

Helaine shook her head. Thinking about Jenna was making her seep into Jenna's thoughts. Though they were a comfort from anyone else's, it was still something she didn't want to presently do. Not as long as she was here on Ordin. She was supposed to be paying respects to her sister, Miriam, as she celebrated the birth of her first child.

Loathe as Helaine sometimes was of her father, or her brothers, and yes, sometimes her sisters, because they were all so hopelessly silly, she did love them, and she had never missed the celebrations of her many nieces and nephews. For such a long time, no one had borne children. They'd lived in times of war, and it was not safe to be with child. It made you a target.

She couldn't explain this to anyone else. Her companions had no siblings. Well…Pixel had a sibling. He had to have one. It was the law of his horrible Overmind. But Pixel had been too preoccupied with his parents to think of the brother or sister he was estranged from.

Score sat beside her, resplendent in the robes of royalty, and hating every minute of it. He'd come because they were due to check in anyway, and because her father had actually extended the invitation. They'd come to check in a week ago, and Lord Votrin himself came to speak to Score, asking if he and his companions wouldn't attend the celebration of the birth of his twenty-fifth grandchild.

This had introduced a whole new round of thoughts in Score's mind that Helaine had been partially privy to. How he'd never thought of Lord Votrin as a doting grandfather. How the thought of having children himself was probably out of the question. How would he know his child would be a magic-user? If it was, would it be strong enough to survive on Dondar? Would they have to move? Was there a way to tell? Should he ask Shanara? She'd had to have known. Eremin and Nantor had seemingly picked women at random with whom to imbue with their own spirits; Traxis had sought out Shanara. Was that strange? Or, how he put it, weird and twisted?

Helaine had had to concentrate hard to keep from reading Score's mind about the matter. It was still something he thought about; didn't want to ask Shanara about yet, because everything with her was still so fresh…he didn't want to bring it up, though he was aching with curiosity.

*Helaine? Helaine? When are we gonna leave?*

Helaine had been so focused on blocking out Score's thoughts that she jumped when Score wanted to communicate with hers. Without effort, she sifted out the excess thoughts of her own, making sure they were speaking only to each other, that no one else could hear, and that he couldn't tell what her own thoughts were buzzing about.

*We'll leave as soon as the formalities are complete* she managed; proud of herself for not letting his thoughts distract her.

*Good. I'm hungry.*

Helaine turned to him, rolling her eyes, and earning a grin from him in return. She didn't know how much longer she could do this.

It was fatiguing, and she was beginning to show the signs of wear; her reflexes were shoddy, and she was developing circles under her eyes from not being able to properly rest at night, afraid she'd tap into someone's dreams. Or their nightmares. Even Score had started complaining that she'd been meaner than usual. Pixel just looked at her, ever puzzling things together in his mind.

It was starting to get harder to discern the reality from the thoughts. She couldn't remember conversations she'd had with her friends versus the conversations she'd imagined. The kisses she'd actually shared with Score…versus the ones she hadn't. But that he'd dreamt about. Or she'd dreamt about. Or thought about.

*You okay? Helaine?*

"I don't know."

-o-

E

I haven't been mean enough to Helaine. I always pick on Score. So here! Yay for Helaine!cruelty! *This has been brought to you by the Stop Fanfic Authors from Abusing their Charges Foundation.

~Ayaia