Work Header


Work Text:

Since John decided to follow in his father's footsteps and become a cop he'd struggled with nightmares. It was something that comes with the job description. He couldn't do the sort of work they do in the police force without seeing a lot of ugliness so John hadn't been surprised when they started. Becoming a detective didn't exactly help reduce the sleepless nights as he saw worse sights than he'd ever had as a beat cop, but John had known what he was getting into when he applied for the job. He'd known he could do more as a detective.

After all the years with LAPD, John was mostly used to the horrors which revisited him in his sleep. But what he dreamed about these days, after he woke from the coma, is a whole new level of disturbing.

When John slept, he went back into to the room he'd been stuck in while in his coma. Oh, he knows is impossible. He'd had God-only-knew how many different machines monitoring him and keeping the doctors updated on his condition. None of the readings had ever showed him getting close to consciousness before the day he finally woke up. John had no memory what had happened to his body during those seventeen months he missed (something else that he doesn't like to think about it).

Yet John dreamed of the long months of being stuck in the long-care facility. In the dreams, he was on his back. His eyes are closed so that all he could see is black until the lights come on and he saw the vivid crimson, and the fractal branching of the tiny arteries that ran through the inside of his eyelids. Occasionally, he would hear steps of nurses and doctors as they walked in and out again. Rarely, people spoke in voices too low and disjointed to make any sense.

Sometimes, he'd swear he could hear swearing or sobbing, or both.

John can't ever, ever move yet he always tried.

In the dream, he could feel the clothes he's been dressed in, and the press of cool, impersonal hands checking on him, or adjusting his position on the bed. He could feel the machine which maintained his muscle tone, through pulses of electricity that made his muscles twitch.

Yet he can't ever move of his own volition. He was locked inside his own body. Desperate. Until he mentally screamed to the faceless people moving around him, trying with all his might to tell him that he was still in here. In his dreams, John strives to wake up and climb off the bed. He tried for hours on end, his own fear rising and rising until he woke himself with a yell, throwing himself across the bed. Sometimes, he landed on the floor, forcing himself to crawl back to the bed to leverage himself up while the synthetic leg mocks him from its charging station.

When he woke from those dreams, John had to keep moving, unable to stay still. He would leave his apartment for a late night cup of coffee from whatever cafe, dinner or sandwich shop was open. John doesn't dare go back to sleep, out of the nagging and irrational fear that he would not wake up again. And that if he lingered too long in dreamland, he'll locked right back into another coma.

John felt almost be grateful that a side of effect of being treated by the Recollectionist was that his nightmares turn into recovered fragmented memories of the ambush, if those memories didn't leave him feeling sicker to his stomach when he woke up.

Yet, at least in those dreams... memories, he can move. He can fight. He does something. He doesn't hesitate to dive back into sleep in order to try to chase down another piece of the puzzle, trying to find out how he'd gotten his best friend killed.

By the time John goes through his mandatory evaluation by Dr. Tilden, he no longer has insomnia on his list of problems to deal with.

Instead, he had a whole new slew of issues and a bubbling anger at all synthetics.