Hello to those who still read RGB. I wrote about 25 pages of an RGB story almost ten years ago and never finished it. I dug it up today and thought, hey, I'm kind of proud of this. So, I'm posting one chapter, because I feel it's a shame to never have it read by anyone at all after the work I put into it.
Now a word of warning – I was an avid reader of RGB in the early 2000's and I came across several authors who, in my opinion were the god's of RGB and after reading so many of their truly masterful stories, I came to accept some of their characters takes as canon. So, on that note, there is one very small section in here, which i've italicized, (ideas - I hope not sentences) I think I may have essentially picked up from one or more of their stories. I can't be sure but that section just feels familiar in a bad way. I would have just taken it out, but i've chosen to post this section of the story as it was originally written.
Anyway, I don't have any plans to finish the story itself as I have moved on to Bleach, but hopefully you enjoy it, and i'd certainly like to hear what you think of it in a review.
"Oh wow Egon," Ray remarked, staring through the large window and into the room beyond. "It's an interrogation room. I've never seen one from this side before. Uh, not that I've been on the other side either." He chuckled lightly as Ray usually did when he corrected himself.
I adjusted my red rimmed glasses and glanced up, muttering a non committal "mmm," and quickly returned my focus to the steady beeping of the PKE meter.
"Strange." I studied the meter as I pointed it at the window.
"What's strange Egon," Ray asked as he leaned in against my shoulder and peered at the screen.
"I'm getting strong readings but they keep fluctuating, class three, class seven… now class four. I can't seem to get any definitive readings. Nor can I pin point their location. But they seem to be emanating from the general direction of that room." I explained, thrusting the meter towards the window.
Rays brown eyes flared with concern, as he held out a finger in the direction of the hallway and mentally mapped the team's relative positions. "Egon? Isn't that the room Winston and Peter were going to…"
His question was abruptly cut off as the meter began to screech a shrill warning. My heart jumped. Yes. We both turned our attention to the window, Ray instinctively raising his proton gun to face whatever entity was sure to be materializing beyond the glass.
"Ready Winston? On three…. Three."
I raised my right leg to the sealed door and kicked outward. My heavy black boot connected hard near the door knob. With a crunch, the lock splintered and the door flew open, bouncing off the back wall. Willful destruction of property. God I loved it. Anyone who got me out of bed this early in the morning, little old ladies exempt, was getting the special Venkman treatment. Ya sure I'll catch your ghost, but don't expect me to be neat about it.
Beyond the open door frame was nothing more than a quiet empty room. Empty except for a bare table with a grey metal chair at the far end.
A few feet down the hall a door slammed shut, sealing in two panicked yells.
I never heard them. Neither did Winston. My foot had connected with the door just as they yelled my name, just as their own door was slammed shut by some unseen force. A force I was about to become much better acquainted with than I cared to be.
I took one step into the quiet room, my pack still partially in the door frame.
"Nothing in here," I shrugged my shoulders and threw a look back to Winston, who took a step up behind me, his PKE meter unreactive in his free hand.
"Not getting anything now Pete," he confirmed. "Weird."
I nodded agreement. His voice sounded a little relieved, and a little puzzled. I was puzzled too. And the hair on the back of my neck was beginning to tingle. Never a good sign. But like the good paranormal soldier that I was, I had to be sure that spooky spookerson wasn't hiding around the corner.
I took another step.
What I saw next made me jump. I turned my head to peer around the door which had bounced off the back wall and stopped parallel with the wall beside it. A pair of eyes looked back at me.
"Jeez!" I gasped as I raised my thrower. I froze, just long enough for my fight or flight response to come to its senses… "Ah crap," I sighed.
"What is it Pete?" I heard the chink of metal as Winston's thrower came up behind me in a protective gesture, still one step outside the door.
"Nothing. Just a mirror. Man I'm jumpy as shit today."
"Haha. I told you not to have that third cup of coffee ma'man."
"Hey. If you wanted me conscious on this bust…" I shot back.
What I saw to my right was another room just like this one, and another me, a very good looking me, I might add. A mirror covered almost the entire right wall. I recognized it for what it was, and had spent some time in one myself on several occasions thanks to the antics of dear old dad. I shoved those memories back into their dirty little hiding place and reached up and brushed back my brown slightly too long bangs. Time for a trim. Didn't I just have one a month ago? Damn, the curse of beautiful hair.
"It's an interrogation room," I said over my shoulder as I continued to stare at myself in the mirror.
I wasn't looking at my reflection now though, not really. I was studying the minute vibrations that seemed to be rippling over the other me, over the other room. Odd.
Ray pounded his fists violently against the reinforced window.
"Peter! Get out of there!"
"My radio isn't functioning. Something's blocking the signal." Egon growled in a rare display of frustration.
I didn't know it, but the ghost had made itself visible to Egon and Ray as it hovered over the table, wisps of ghostly tentacles gliding through the air mere inches from my head. I could only have guessed why it chose to put on a private show just for them, one staring little Petey Venkman. And I would have guessed that it was mocking them.
"It's no use Ray," Egon shouted as he wrestled with the door. "This room is sound proof. He'll never hear us. Damn it, this door will not move."
"Then we'll blast it."
Egon stepped back and both men aimed their rifles at the door and fired. Nothing.
Rays eyes widened in shock and frustration.
"This is ridiculous! Try the window, Egon! Ready… fire!" Two streams pounded against the glass in unison.
I just stood there for a moment, studying the mirror, totally oblivious to the hoarse yells, pounding fists, and the proton streams now ineffectively bouncing off the other side of the glass. And oblivious to the danger that hung invisibly mere inches in front of me, the monster that I could have reached out and touched. Or which could've reached out and touched me first for that matter.
They could see it. But I couldn't. I never knew a ghost could do that. Well shit. It seemed this one could. No idea what friggin class this spook would fall in either. Years of bustin' and I honestly thought we'd seen it all and then this... And after some of the shit we'd seen I was in no way eager to go where no man had gone before and search out new life or unlife or whatever the hell kind of freaky undead thing this was.
Actually, Egon would later theorize that the reason our meters and our eyes didn't work was because the ghost wasn't actually there. Somehow its image and energy was reflecting through a portal at an angle which Egon and Ray could see. (The "brain" said Winston and my PKE meters didn't register the nasty either for the same reason… or some voodoo mumbojumbo like that.)
I leaned forward and peeked around behind the door, just to be sure. Nothing. So I turned to Winston.
"Ok, let's go see what's taking are two favorite scientific clowns so…"
Without warning Winston suddenly disappeared behind the door as it slammed shut between us. And I was suddenly overwhelmed with the feeling that I was on the wrong side of it.
"What the… Oh shit. Winston?"
I would have grabbed for the door knob… the bolt was already in pieces - so really the door shouldn't have been a problem to open - but I knew better. Years of prancing around after pesky poltergeists had taught Dr. Venkman well that doors which slam shut by themselves don't usually have a working doorknob. Some ghosts seem to be able to affect their environment in alarming ways, sealing a door for example. Almost instantly, I could hear that Winston was giving everything he had to open it anyway, a rattle, a kick, the sizzle of a particle thrower on low, on medium, on high.
Nope. No point in going down that particular dirt road. Not when there was probably a big nasty materializing behind me at this very moment. Which there was of course.
Ghost busting rule number 43, when doors inexplicably shut in front of you, turn around as fast as you can and cover your ass because 10 to 1 something scary and moldy is coming at you from behind.
I spun around, as my heart clambered frantically up my throat, bringing my gun up to face whatever hideous thing with massive claws was going to be taking a run at me.
Well that's not right at all. I hastily scanned the room from left to right then up above my head. A lot of the things we dealt with had a bad habit of coming at us from above, or sometimes below. But no, nothing ready to pounce on my head and mess up my hair.
"Hello? Any spooks in here?" Damn my voice was shaky. No response. Just an empty, quiet, stillness in the room. I couldn't have heard an answer anyway, what with all the road construction going on between my ears. Then it occurred to me, maybe the spook was on the other side of the door after all, maybe it was Winston and the others who were in trouble, maybe…
Then suddenly the air got cold. Very damn cold.
I simultaneously shivered and gasped as a grayish mist began to materialize out of the empty space in front of me.
"G-guys… anybodeee… uncle Pete would like some help heeere," I managed to half shout the words out the side of my mouth, as if ghosty wouldn't know all the noise was coming from me.
I reached down with one hand to shut off my PKE meter which had finally decided to announce our guests' presence. Thanks for nothing.
The fog was almost sparkling, and wispy like the fog that hangs over a bridge on a humid summer night. And it seemed to be filling the room. Definitely not good. I couldn't hit whatever it was until it materialized fully. But it seemed interested only in spreading around the room… around me.
My own icy breath began to mingle with the mist. It felt like January but the cold wasn't stopping the bead of sweat from trickling down over my brow. No sir. And if it weren't for my death grip on the thrower, it might have slipped out of my hands. My palms were sweating so much. The bad feelings, sixth sense warning, and internal alarms which I should have had two minutes ago were now on overdrive. Better late than never, they say.
I needed a door, and any door would do. I wasn't picky. I swung my proton gun around towards the mirror and fired once at an angle. Instant door. Just add protons.
No dice. It bounced off and shot up toward the ceiling, causing a bubbling black sing mark.
Alone. No door. No window. No way out.
I raised one shaky leg and kicked back against the door.
"Any time now Winston," I yelled with mock encouragement.
I wasn't gonna let gooper know how scared stupid I was. I could feel that something very, very bad was about to happen. This so called class four didn't feel like a ghost who was just manifesting to share its feelings and move on to a better place. No way. It felt wrong. This whole bust had given me a bad feeling from the minute Janine had picked up the phone, and I had told Egon so in no uncertain terms over breakfast.
We'd held a vote on it. I had folded my arms and scowled, but it was mostly for show. After a brief debate they had decided, bad feelings or not, we had to go. Eventually I had sighed and thrown my hand onto the pile at the center of the kitchen table. It was what we did for crying out loud. And no one else could do it. Besides, I'd had bad feelings before and it had almost never stopped us. We just took extra precautions that's all. But, and the guys will back me on this, my intuition was almost always right.
I'd now been in the room for one full minute. The mist began to thicken at its center. I decided to look on the bright side. If I timed it right, that could be a good thing. A ghost has to be more or less fully materialized to be caught in a stream and sucked into a trap. And if there were two things that were always true about old Petey, he liked his beer cold and his ghosts fully materialized.
I really didn't want to hang out here with fog for brains anymore, so I decided now was a good time to try something… anything. Hey. I even had a plan. Plans were good. I reached back and neatly plucked the trap from its place on the side of my pack, and tossed it underneath the ever thickening fog a few feet in front of me. The release pedal landed at my foot. I thumbed the trigger of my proton gun, and hoped I didn't have to fire the thrower again in such a small space. I shut my eyes and simultaneously stepped on the trap release.
That just made it mad. Goody.
The second the bright light from the trap filled the room, a horrific wailing and howling exploded around me, forcing me to abandon my thrower and cover my ears to keep them from shattering. Great, blind and deaf. Great plan.
I could feel the air begin to stir rapidly, in seconds twisting into gale forced winds. Always an experience. I'd been thrown through an inter-dimensional gate or two in my day, and this seemed a lot like that. Ah yes, good times. Enough to make the most seasoned roller coaster enthusiast lose his lunch. I braced myself against the door against the onslaught, grabbing onto the knob and using it as an anchor.
"Shit", I yelped, as the trap was picked up, bright burning light still beaming wildly, like a sun catcher gone bad, and flung around the chaotically spinning room. The trap conveniently clattered into the far left corner, convenient for anyone or anything that wasn't me of course. I heard it land, because I couldn't see it, since I had ducked my head protectively into the brown jumpsuit material on my arms. If that trap had pointed directly at my eyes as it was spinning, well… I'd be counting on Egon to pick out my clothes for me for the rest of my life and that was not a pretty picture.
I squinted my watering eyes at the fog thing in front of me, around me, behind me… Uh oh.
An icy chill raced up my spine and skittered over my shoulders. I sucked in a startled breath and tried to turn to face the thing that was now running free-range over my upper body. Small room or not, I was alone with a bad tempered ghost and in deep shit. Help did not seem to be on the way. I had to do something. But I suddenly realized that I couldn't turn. I couldn't move. Ah crap. You've really done it now, Venkman.
I suddenly became aware of the fact that my feet weren't nearly as attached to the ground as they usually were.
"Hey!" And the cold pressure around my shoulders was building. "Lemme go!" I bawled.
I felt the straps of my proton pack loosen then snap. The forty some pounds of nuclear accelerator thumped solidly onto the floor behind me, and I yelped as a painfully cold jolt of energy shot down my arm, forcing me to release my grip on my beloved thrower.
I thought I knew what was coming next. The usual. Ghostbuster takes short flight into nearest wall, then briefly plays dead until help arrives to distract and hopefully catch the nasty gooper. I'd done it a few times myself. I'd get a few good bruises, and be fussed over for at least a day or two. No problem.
But not this time. Nope. The fog-thing had other plans for everybody's favorite hero. Nasty plans. And given a choice I would have preferred being tossed against a brick wall.
With inhuman force, it ripped me right up off the ground and spun me around until I hung face up helplessly over the table in the center of the room, my head near the far wall.
"Great ride. Can I get off now?" I quipped. Hey, no terror too terrible, no threat to great to keep my smart mouth out of action.
I strained my neck forward until I could see the door beyond my feet. Still closed. I struggle furiously against the icy grip which now seemed to be wrapping itself restrictively around my entire body. I could feel the panic beginning to surge through me as my breathing sped up. I needed to calm down and think. I reluctantly let my head fall back and stared up at the ceiling, and my unruly brown curl plastering itself to my perspiring forehead.
Then, like a really bad star trek episode, the now sparkling fog moved in around me, concentrating around my struggling form.
That was when time suddenly stood still. Without warning it began to invade me.
"What the fu…," I gasped.
The fog literally began pouring into me, into my mouth, my nose, my ears, my eyes. The cold was so intense it felt like the mist was pushing its way right through my skin. It rolled across my tongue and flowed down my throat. It may have looked like mist, but it tasted like a thousand rotting corpses. It gave new meaning to the words, "the taste of death".
Any faith I had that the guys were suddenly going to burst through the door and save my ass was rapidly deteriorating.
Thoroughly panicking, I twisted and bucked frantically. Desperately, I threw my head forward and gagged, coughing, choking, spitting in the process, trying to force the dead smelling thing out of my lungs.
My eyes watered and burned, and my lungs screamed for clean air. I was about to begin projectile vomiting the thing out of me, when a pain, unlike anything I've ever felt swarmed over every inch of me. My head fell back and my muscles clamped themselves into knots and I began convulsing as I hung two feet over the table top. The scene would've scared the pants off of even the most seasoned paramedic.
As it happened it was scaring the pants off two ghostbusters who for one endless moment were frozen, their mouths gaping, as they watched their friend being engulfed by the white writhing mass of ghostly mist and begin to convulse uncontrollably.
I managed a brief but impressively ear shattering scream as the pain viciously stabbed its way up and down my spine, legs, and arms. My vision blurred. Then everything faded to black as my eyes rolled back into my head. I could hear the chattering of my own teeth, then tasted the blood that rolled down into my throat as I bit a good sized chunk out of my tongue.
My breath came in short painful spasms as I sucked the fog in, and breathed the fog out again. I was drowning in it. This thing is killing me… slowly, I thought miserably. Just friggin' do it already. Then the world began to twist and fade away into empty welcoming darkness, the only noise, the blood pounding in my ears. Just as I could feel my muscles begin ripping away from my bones, it all stopped. The torture stopped. For a brief second, I thought I was dead. At that moment, I didn't really mind that much.
Then I felt a sudden jerk and realized vaguely that I was being hurdled through the air. I came to a very abrupt and painful stop as I crashed into the wall, then dropped five feet to the very solid concrete floor. I lay there in a lifeless looking heap. Well, looks like I get to play dead after all, I thought numbly before the world was washed away into darkness.
Pain. My world was excruciating pain.
I was only out for a few seconds. I wanted to stay out though, just ignore the ghost to death. But instinctively I fought the darkness focusing instead on the spasms that continued to torture me. They were less intense now and fading. I struggled to breathe normally and slow my pounding heart. As I lay there sucking in ragged breaths, I became vaguely aware of a loud noise. No. Several loud noises. Familiar sounds. Electrical… a proton stream. Screaming… a furious ghost. A bassy voice, someone yelling out my name… Spengler. Ray. Winston.
My heroes. My late heroes.
Finally a very brief moment of silence, then the sound of a stampede of buffalo bearing down on me. There was a short piercing squeak of rubber against floor as Egon stopped just short of on top of me.
"Peter? Peter - can - you - hear me?" The words came slowly, dreamily down a long tunnel. They didn't make much sense to me. But I could hear the fear.
I couldn't answer. I lay still, utterly exhausted, focused on my sole purpose in life… filling my lungs with oxygen. Then a whole new sensation began to creep over me, beginning slowly in my extremities and working its way into my core. It was the sensation of ten or twenty thousand very tiny, but very real, pinpricks. The cold. I had been wrapped in a blanket of cold. Now I was warming back up after my encounter with frosty the fog bank, and all my nerve endings were letting me know that they were coming back online and working just fine… just in case I didn't already know.
But that was only the half of it. Behind door number two was the sensation of being in a bath and having someone throw in, oh, say… a toaster, just for the fun of it. I shuddered, and let out a barely audible groan.
"Peter." That's when Egon reached out and touched my shoulder. "Yeeeaahh!" Egon leaped back from the brown jump suited barely conscious guy on the floor as we both let out simultaneous yelp of shock. Shock being the operative word.
"What the heck was that?" Winston barked.
"Whoa, Egon…" was all Ray had to offer.
Egon gave his shocked hand a shake and studied the small red marks near the tip of his fingers.
Ray knelt down beside me. "Aww Peter… Peter, are you alright?"
"Uhngg." I responded, matter of factly, my head still pressed to the floor, my arm and my messy curl covering all but one mildly burning eye. I had curled up into an almost fetal position on my side, not ready or willing to move anymore than that at the moment.
Egon pulled out his PKE meter and studied it's blinking lights for a few seconds. "Hmmm," he announced.
"What's hmmmm Egon?" asked Winston.
"Very strange readings. Peter seems to be emitting a high amount of multi-phasic ecto energy."
"Is he… possessed?" Winston whispered.
"No. I don't think so." He fiddled with the meter's knobs. "I'm reading Peter's biorhythms, but… but they're altered, and stronger than usual. But they do appear to be reverting slowly, I assume as the energy leaves his system."
You would have thought Egon was sitting in a lab convoluting over some random experiment by his tone. The scientific, almost mechanical way he was describing his downed ghostbuster's current predicament. But that was Egon. In fact, he was worried sick, and focused on solving said predicament as fast as possible so the world could be right again. He had assured himself that my heart was beating and I was breathing, and at least partially conscious. (Catch him after a day when I've been in one of my more predatory and annoying moods and he'll surly tell you he prefers me that way. Much easier to deal with.)
Egon knelt down on one knee and held his hand out just a few inches over my side. The audible crackle of energy began to build and a faint blue light began to arc and dance between his hand and my side.
"Multiphasic energy… that's greeaat!" exclaimed a wide eyed Ray.
You gotta hand it to Ray. Ya, that's great Ray. It hurt like hell.
"Yes Ray, that's great. But what we need is to get Pete to the hospital."
Good old Winston. Could always count on him to bring the eggheads back to earth when they were more interested in their scientific discoveries that the safety of their number one ghostbuster and best pal. But at the moment I had absolutely zero intention of moving anywhere. No way. No how.
"Dun tush me!" I barked, well… panted really, as I jerked away from Egon. My sluggishly bleeding tongue throbbed relentlessly. It hurt too much for me to take pride in proper enunciation. Man, there were going to be a lot of disappointed ladies out there, what with the Venkman tongue temporarily out of commission.
I curled up even tighter, held back a painful shiver, and exhaled. My breathing began to even out again but the world was still tilting and weaving around me. A dark abyss was settling in around me, slowly pulling me into it.
Not yet. Not ready. Had to check on something first.
I cracked open an eye, blinking against the light. Funny how damn bright it seemed now. I had to be sure the guys were really here, and safe. They were. I felt satisfied, and somewhat safer. The abyss pulled harder. Before I laid down arms and let myself sink into a semi conscious sleep, I had to double check one minor detail.
"Yes Pete, we got him good." Thanks, Winston.
"Good. Thave it… fer me. Wanna… thlam dunk'm… m'thelf."
There was a pregnant pause. Then Ray coughed into his hand. The one cough quickly turned into three. Then they all just gave right up and broke into laughter.
Making fun of Dr. Venkman when he was down?
I'd let it slide, though. I'd get them back later. For now I let the warm, mirthful sound of my friends carry me into blackness.
I was only out for maybe twenty five minutes, and still in the same position, when I started to come too. The guys hadn't been able to make contact with me at all yet, but Winston made it his duty to monitor my breathing as best he could.
While I did my best to reintegrate my brain with the rest of my body, it was almost a full half hour before I would let any of the guys actually lay a finger on me. Not a big supporter of electroshock therapy. Nope. Ranked right up there with getting slimed, swabbed, and having my prostate examined. So they sat there on the floor of the interrogation room with me, my best friends, and waited, talking to me every now and then to rouse me out of sleep and make sure I still knew who I was. No question about it, all said and done, I was a lucky sob. They really were a great bunch of guys. The best. And this reminded me of the times Egon and Ray had missed out on their plans just to nurse me through several well deserved hangovers and a nasty case of influenza back in college. Yup, really brought me back.
While I regained what little of my senses I had left, Egon busied himself with his PKE readings, or more precisely, my PKE readings. Ray and Winston talked to me, not wanting me to fall completely asleep again in case I'd received a concussion, which judging by the small smear of blood on the wall above me, was distinctly possible. They also wanted to gauge my readiness to move, or to be moved if necessary.
Nothing like mornings at the fire hall though. Nope. No gauging Dr. Venkman there. Just a very sudden rush of ice cold water down my back, disgusting slime on my face, or a pair of hands forceably ejecting me from under my sheets. All usually to the tune of a very loud alarm bell, one which I was quite adept at ignoring before 10am.
"Peter? Are you feeling any better?" That was Ray, jolting me out of my memories. He had hunkered down by my head, as close as he could get without out setting off a repeat showing of my blue electrical light performance. We had all figured that one out quickly. Touching Pete baaaad.
"G'way," I muttered. Simple. To the point. They didn't get it.
"Ok homeboy, ready or not, we gotta get you outta here. We need to take you to the hospital and get you checked out. There's a nasty cut on the back of your head. Okay?
"No. No hosptls. Bed. Jzz wanna sleep." Ray shot Egon a pleading look. Egon nodded.
"Peter. My readings indicate that you no longer appear to be radiating an electrical field. It should be safe to touch you now."
My still fuzzy brain took a moment to wrap around the bigger words. "Y'sure?"
"Does Scorias spongiosa grow on Beech trees?"
I blinked up at Egon, still in the same position as I was in earlier.
"Uh? No. It grows on yer…."
"Ehem." Egon placed a well timed cough into his hand.
Through on slit eye I could see Egon's brow shoot up into his hairline in mock offense.
Ray's grin was loud enough to hear.
"N'kay." I conceded. Hospital. Then home. Bed. Put this day behind me.
I mean, really, was that supposed to be humor, Egon? I was down and out and still funny as shit. And when I got my brain back, I was going to give Egon a little refresher course on what was and was not considered funny in America.
But right now, if anyone on the planet was going to get me to move it would be Egon. I always listened to Egon. Well, usually. Well, more than I listen to anyone else.
Slowly, painfully, I uncurled myself and turned onto my front, resting my throbbing head on the cool floor, then painstakingly pushed up against my sorely aching muscles and began to stand, feeling my way up the wall as I attempted to straighten up. I felt like I had just run a two hour marathon, on all fours, and on my back, in the crab position. The room weebled and titled, and two sets of eager hands, Egon's and Winston's, appeared under each of my arms, ready to catch me if my legs gave way. They held. A little shaky, but still good.
Ray grabbed my discarded proton pack off the floor and shambled along beside the three of us, rambling on about how great the bust had been, and how great is was that I was alright, and how great it would be if we could get home from the hospital in time to run some tests in Egon's lab. I saw Egon smile at that. He would.
"Jeez, Ray" I grumbled in complete exasperation. "If you thay great one more time I thwear…"
I didn't complete that sentence. I didn't need too. Ray's eyes immediately plummeted to his feet, and he plodded in silence. Great. I felt like I'd ripped the head off his favorite toy.
"Awww Ray," I wheedled in my sincerest apologetic tone. He gave me a side long glance and I forced a weak smile, which was more a grimace than anything. But Ray took it as I meant it and his face lit up again. He continued to chitter to Egon all the way to Ecto.
"You doin' good Pete," Winston encouraged me as we weaved very slowly through the still hallways and down the steps at the front entrance to the building. I leaned fully onto the guys shoulders when we reached the steps. There were only five or six of them but it was dizzying.
They bundled me into Ecto, and I nestled between Egon and Ray. Then I leaned my head on Ray's shoulder and promptly fell asleep. One thing all of the guys will vouch for, is that I can fall asleep anywhere, any time, and if I put my mind to it, in almost any situation. On several occasions I'm sure I've heard them placing bets on how long it would be until I was unconscious on the couch in the den. Never found out for sure 'cause I… well… I fell asleep.
The ride to the hospital was smooth. Ecto's siren wailed through the streets of New York and traffic scattered. By now, most New Yorkers were used to seeing us cut a swath through traffic like we owned every inch of the damn road, and they paid us some respect. Just a perk of the job, and one I didn't mind.
Given that it seemed I wasn't in any immediate danger, Winston kept all four tires firmly on the ground for a change. Along the way I awoke a few times to a warm hand lazily brushing back the matted hair on my forehead. Egon. Somewhere en route he had turned and leaned with his back against the door and I had curled comfortably up against his body, my head resting on his collar bone. I could feel the steady rise and fall of his chest and his long fingers running through my bangs from time to time. Normally I'd threaten to flush his precious molds down the toilet if he touched my hair. But right now I couldn't have cared less. Besides, I'll never admit this again but it felt pretty damn good.
Later in the hospital, Ray chastised me playfully for drooling on his shoulder. Jeez, give a wounded guy a break. I wasn't there long at all, just long enough to have the lump on the back of my head checked out, receive four stitches, and piss off no less than two rather attractive nurses. Ya, I was gonna be ok.
Three days later, and things were pretty much business as un-usual. We'd been out on four relatively easy busts. Couple of class twos, and some slimy class threes. For the last three days I'd managed to avoid Egon's so called tests. I'd put my foot down about the whole "tests" thing the minute we got back to central.
I thought I'd made myself clear on that until not once but twice I caught Egon pointing that damn PKE meter at me, and during a bust! The first time I just glared. The second time though I'd threatened to stick it where the sun didn't shine and turn it on in the presence of a Class 8. Both brows had shot into the stratosphere at that one. He'd kept no more than a wary eye on me the rest of the bust.
During this evening's emergency bust I'd received a liberal coating of goo of course. Dried green snot was caked into my hair, across my chest and shoulders, and some of the slimy ectoplasm had even managed to slither down my back, putting me in an exceptionally foul mood. I took it upon myself to bitch about it until the guys were practically running up stairs to warm up the shower for me. Psychology degree or not, sometimes it was just too easy.
Exhausted from clambering up way too many flights of stairs with a heavy proton pack, I toweled off, threw it into a heap at the foot of my bed and crawled straight under my covers, my hair still damp. It was only 8:30 and the summer sun still shone through the windows of our bunk room. I turned away from the light and buried my head into my pillow, clutching it in my arms, and almost immediately dozed off.
The sun had seemed awfully bright this afternoon. Truth is, I'd found myself squinting at it all day, which is actually why I ended up wearing a suit of cold green ecto-snot in the first place. We had been hunting for the last of several goopers in a twelve story high rise, when the class three had come screaming at me from the direction of a window. I couldn't see it. But I could hear it. I didn't dare fire though because I knew the guys had been around the corner nearby. So instead I tried to dodge the green missile, unsuccessfully. No matter, could have happened to any of us. And now I was clean and in bed, one of my favorite haunts, though not usually this early without a date.
I was a bit of a night owl myself, mostly because out of all of the guys, hands down, I had the worst nightmares. It was not unusual for me to bolt out of bed at one or two in the morning after a particularly scary bust, or more accurately, a bust which had involved a close call for one of us.
Fangs, claws, glowing eyes, even a hundred feet of slime, I could handle, but seeing one of my best friends almost take a dirt nap. That would keep me up for a week. Surprisingly, it wasn't my own degree in psychology that helped me work through the nightmares. No, my fix-all was a warm cup of cocoa and my best friend, who always seemed to know when I was up and in need of a little midnight counseling.
This time though, the nightmare had been about me.
I was fighting my way through a thick fog. Not unusual nightmare fare. In fact, much of it would have seemed run of the mill. It was the strength of the emotions that got to me though.
I didn't know where I was, but somehow I felt it was somewhere very high. I sensed people all around but they were far below, worlds away. In the real world, I would have been a basket case if I'd been as high up as I was in my nightmare. But in that place the height didn't concern me. I was looking for something in the mist. I was on my own, but not alone. There was something in there somewhere, something that I wanted badly. No. I didn't want it. I needed it, so much that I felt like I would wither and die without it. And it wanted me to find it.
And then I began to feel it. A crackling blue flame began to sparkle in the fog around me, and a heat surged through my body. Suddenly the blue flame turned to yellow and the fog began to split and crack down the middle, leaving a jagged line of clear blue, and distant ball of yellow fire. Panic tore through me as the fire began to burn my face and eyes, and my skin began to blacken and smoke. Cold terror dug its black claws into me and I screamed.
I sat bolt upright in bed, clutching my pillow to my bare chest, and gulping in huge breaths of air in the darkness. Silence. No flames. No smoke. I held my hands up to my face and examined them in the dimness of the bunk room, wiggling my fingers. No pain.
"Shit," I whispered in the darkened bedroom. I reached for my alarm and turned it to face me. The red lights said 2:15am. What the hell was that all about? A vampire? Was I a vampire in my nightmare? Hadn't tangled with any vamps in a long time, so why would I be dreaming about them now?
I slid out of bed, onto the cool floor and crept out of the room. Three forms slept on contentedly, blissfully unaware that the fourth ghost buster had flipped on the hall light, and virtually every other light in the upstairs portion of the fire house, and was now sitting in the kitchen staring blankly at the patterns on the table cloth. Or so I thought. A few minutes later, like clockwork, Egon appeared in the doorway. I don't know how that guy did it. And I swear his eyes were still shut as he prepared the cocoa.
And that's that. Again, this was written back around 2003 or so. First time i've read it in years. And i'm actually quite proud of it... in fact, i'm frusterated because I think it's better than my Bleach fic. I think I had read so many RGB stories that getting into Peter's head was the easiest thing in the world. There are more scenes that I could post, shorter ones. If there's enough (a lot of) interest, I will take the time to do that. Otherwise, I will likely be content to post just this portion. Junichiblue.