The camp was quiet at night, which was why Cal was wandering around at such a late hour. The last few days, weeks really, had been so stressful, and while he truly enjoyed spending time with Riccaro and the Bro gang, they could be really overwhelming, even when down a member. He needed time to get his mind around his powers and what he’d seen, what he’d felt. The… vision in the courtyard of that alternate timeline (it had to be, it wasn’t real, it couldn’t be) had shocked him and Davis’ continued elusiveness was not helping. Solis had also been acting off, and he hoped the guy was feeling better. There wasn’t much he could do to help if he didn’t know what was wrong and… Cal laughed softly at his rambling thoughts. He was supposed to be taking this time to focus on his situation, and yet he was worrying over the other campers again. He really was acting like a mom, wasn’t he? His mother would be so proud, after she was done laughing. He continued walking with no clear goal in mind, just meandering down the paths, when he heard something by one of the buildings. The silence seemed to grow as he approached the noise, and turning a corner he started at the sight of Davis. He was just standing there, muttering to himself by the sound of it and Cal had a moment of utter relief at seeing his friend alive and well, but in the next moment he realised something was off about him. Cal couldn’t put his finger on what was different, and he couldn’t stop himself from calling out to Davis in a friendly greeting. The man stood still for a moment, now utterly silent, before turning to smile at Cal. And in that smile Cal knew, deep down, that whatever was in front of him was not Davis. It was not Davis, it was not his friend, and it was not happy that he was there.
“Hey there bro, good to see ya! Didn’t hear ya coming up, sorry about that.” It’s smile widened and it took a step towards him, all friendly and familiar. And then Cal opened his mouth and said the most stupid thing he could have in that situation. “Who the hell are you?” It’s smile was porcelain, ready to crack, but for a moment he had hope that it would play it off and he could escape. A flash of teeth much sharper than would be human was his answer and Cal found himself quickly pinned to the side of the building with a blade (or were those claws?!) pricking his neck. He knew what was happening, what would happen if he didn’t escape somehow. He had to, had to get out and go to tell someone. Xylo, or Lychee, maybe even Inpu? Regardless he had to tell someone and he couldn’t if he was dead. So he reached for his recently discovered backup plan, and went in reverse.
It felt so familiar already, but something was wrong. He couldn’t grasp the timelines zipping past, and could only watch as he collided with them, not even knowing what had changed as the possibilities dragged him along. In a blink it was Riccaro, his eyes dead and a rictus grin stitched over his face who stood before him, his sword buried in Cal’s chest. He barely had time to choke on the blood before he was rewinding again, and Riccaro was replaced with Lychee as he had been at the ball, skin red and horns sprouting from beneath his hair. His eyes shone with mirth as he twisted the blade of the dagger deeper. He smiled at Cal, though it was more of a wide smirk, and he felt warm liquid bubbling up and out of his mouth, his shirt turning sticky with blood. He fought to call his power back, trying and failing to concentrate around the pain that stretched taught through his stomach. When he opened his eyes the blade was gone, but there was a long gash in it’s place. He looked up, and up at Nad who was panting, eyes clearing of the rage and filling just as quickly with tears. Cal reached out to try and touch, to tell him it was alright, but he seemed taller than before, or maybe Cal was smaller, and besides he couldn’t speak around the blood. Nor could he hold on against the darkness closing in. The last thing he heard was Nad’s anguished wail before he fell.
And hit his bed. The jolt shocked him and it took a moment for his mind to compute where he was, when he was. That was his ceiling, and the lights were out, just as he’d left them when he went to bed. He took in a shuddering breath and blinked away the tears in his eyes, hating how easily a simple nightmare had shaken him to his core. “That’s all that was” he whispered to himself. His voice was harsh and he hoped he hadn’t been screaming in his sleep. Though from the lack of anxious, worried noises outside his door, it was a safe bet that if he had they had gone unheard. He wasn’t sure whether to be relieved by that.
He lay there for a moment before resigning himself to being awake. His stomach ached with phantom pains and Cal groaned in sympathy but rose to his feet regardless, it wasn’t real, so suck it up he thought in the pain’s general direction. But a small part of him was still shivering, tense with fear. He tried his best to ignore that as he rose, he had had too many panic attacks already this month, and he didn’t need another. But it whispered, even as he turned his back to it.
Even in nightmares, you can’t feel pain.