She Just Wanted to Be Heard
Day 42: Getting Somewhere
Part of Story Arc 1: Counterclockwise
A "The Ring/Ringu" Fanfic
by Laurel (Sailorhathor)
Chapters: 42 of 100
Rating: Overall Rating Sup13+ (adult theme; horror elements that might be too scary for children under 13; bad language). This is the cut version of Day 42, with non-graphic Sam/OFC.
Dates: Begun September 2006. Some material is based on previously written stories from 2003-2005. This chapter was written in July 2010.
Word Count: 4,024
Summary: Sam's efforts to comfort Meredith after the Metternichs put her through the ringer go further than he intended, but he's not complaining. Suzette isn't too happy with it, though.
Warning: Contains spoilers for the entire Ringu and The Ring series. Graphic sex between Sam and an OFC. Discussion of the abuse and attempted murder of children and Nazi concentration camp-like killings.
Beta Thanks: Thanks to Sammie for beta'ing this chapter!
Fanfic Challenges: Fits 50_darkfics Prompt #42 Dirty and Coclaim100 Prompt #42 Trapped.
Author's Notes: There was an episode of "The Simpsons" where Homer had night terrors. This was illustrated by him rolling around on the ground screaming, "Ahhh! Cobras!" as if he was dreaming there were cobras all over him. This is where Brady's joke comes from.
X-over with the TV series Supernatural. Set pre-series, during Sam's years at Stanford. Brady/OFC, Sam/OFC.
Wrapped in several towels, Meredith was still crying when Sam carried her into her dorm room and put her down on her bed. The others followed them into the room.
"Shhh now, it's okay. You're alright, Meredith," Sam whispered soothingly.
"It was awful, Sam. One second, I'm - " Meredith realized that Sully was still there, and abruptly stopped talking. No one wanted to reveal too much about what had happened in front of the R.A.; she'd only think that Meredith was on drugs, that maybe they had all been using drugs to have an experience like that. "I, um... I..."
Knowing they had to make up some story, Tabby cut in with, "It was sleep paralysis again, Mere."
Sam instantly latched onto the story; it was a good one. "Yeah, we were talking, and Meredith fell asleep on the couch. Next thing we know, she gets all tense, and it's like she's trying to wake up but she can't."
"And that's when she started screaming," Tabby finished, speaking right to Sully now.
Under his breath, Brady muttered, "Ahhh. Cobras," which earned him an elbow to the ribs from Tabby.
"Yeah..." Meredith took a few seconds to fill in the rest of the details in her head. "I had a nightmare about being attacked and shoved into a gas chamber. This evil Nazi put me in there. I was trapped; I couldn't get out. And he turned on the gas. Have you ever heard of sleep paralysis, Sully?"
"Uhh, isn't that like where you're partially awake, but your body is still asleep and can't move? And you think whatever you're dreaming about is real?" Sully asked.
"Yeah. Sometimes I actually see things," Meredith replied. "It's really scary, to think you're awake but you can't move. It's like you're trapped inside your own body."
"I would think that would be pretty frightening." Sully looked around at the others. "You guys are supposed to be back in your own rooms this time of night. Don't hang around in the common areas after midnight, okay?"
"Sorry," Brady said. "We won't do it again."
Sully addressed Meredith then. "You should probably go see a doctor about that sleep paralysis stuff. They might be able to do something to help you."
Meredith nodded. "Thanks, Sully."
"I won't make a big deal about it this time." She tapped Brady's arm, then Sam's. "You guys can't be in here this time of night. I need you to go back to your own rooms."
"Let me just get Meredith settled in and then I'll leave," Sam said. When Sully gave him a dubious look, he added, "Scout's honor."
Glaring at him a moment longer, Sully finally gave in with a sigh. "Alright. But if I find you here in the morning, I'll bust your ass. You, though..." Sully pointed at Brady and then crooked her thumb over her shoulder, telling him to leave.
"I know," Brady replied, and put up his hands in surrender. When Sully turned her back to him, he formed his hand into a mock phone, index finger and pinky extended, and put it to his ear. "Call me," he mouthed to Tabby, then waved his hand toward himself to tell her to come on over once they separated for Sully's sake. Tabby nodded and flashed an "Okay" sign.
Once she'd seen to it that Brady left, Sully pointed at Sam. "Ten minutes," she said.
"Great. I hope you feel better, Meredith. I'm going to turn back in."
They all said their goodnights and waited for the sound of Sully's door closing. Although Tabby also closed the door to the room she shared with Meredith, she still tried to keep her voice down. "Sam, what the hell happened out there? Did you see how Meredith was acting?"
"I saw most of it..." He didn't want to admit that at the moment that Meredith had gone into the cabinet, he'd been a bit distracted.
"You guys are watching this illusion, whatever, of the guy gassing his daughter, and suddenly it was like Meredith was in a trance. She walks over and gets up on the table, and nothing I say can bring her out of it. Then she starts screaming, but her voice is muffled, and I couldn't get to her. Like a force field was there. That really happened, right?" Tabby looked from Sam to Meredith in disbelief of the words that were coming out of her own mouth. "It's fucking crazy."
Sam was nodding halfway through her story. "I know it sounds crazy, Tabby. But it was real."
He started to say more, but Meredith interrupted with, "I'm going to change out of these wet clothes," and got up to change in the closet. While she was in there, Sam explained the curse to Tabby, telling her everything he knew.
Meredith came out in only a white terrycloth robe. She wasn't in there long, but it was long enough for Tabby to have already received a call from Brady. "This is some fucked up shit, Mere," she began, "but if you stick with this guy, he'll get you through it. He's like some sort of encyclopedia of knowledge on fucked up shit."
Sam lowered his head and chuckled, a little embarrassed.
"I know," was Meredith's reply, looking at Sam in almost admiration.
"Well..." Tabby held up her phone. "Brady called; he wants me to come on over and..."
"I'll be fine. You go." Meredith smiled, and looked at Sam again.
Tabby looked from one to the other with a little grin. Seeing that, Sam lowered his head once more.
When she was gone, Meredith ambled over to her bed, her hands in the pockets of her robe. "All my pajamas are dirty," she mumbled.
"That's okay." Sam wasn't even sure why he replied that way, but she seemed to be apologizing for what she was wearing. "I told Tabby about the film, and she seems appropriately freaked out enough not to try to see it. But I'd keep it away from her anyway."
"Yeah. Curiosity kills the cat." Waving her hands up and down while still in the pockets, Meredith searched for something to say that would let him know how much she didn't want to be alone, how much she didn't want him to leave. "Maybe we should burn it."
"We probably should."
Nodding, Meredith took a seat on her bed. She gripped the terrycloth tightly in her hands. "I wouldn't want Tabby to go through what I'm going through." By the time Meredith finished that sentence, she had begun crying again.
Sam looked at her, so small on the bed with her robe scrunched tightly in her fingers, head down and body heaving with sobs, and he wanted to comfort her. "Hey," he began, taking a seat on the bed next to her. Meredith put her arms around his neck and sobbed against his shoulder; he stroked her still wet hair. "It's alright. It'll be alright. Soon, this will all be over."
"I felt what it was like to be inside that cabinet and it was terrifying, Sam. It hurt so much. The gas - it was like I was really breathing that gas - and I can't imagine what it must have been like to be a little girl and go through something so horrible. All I could think of was Lizzie." She sobbed too hard to speak anymore, for the moment.
"I can understand why you'd feel that way. These girls are cruel and brutal with their victims, but that doesn't mean they weren't once hurt themselves." He stroked her back. "That's probably why they act the way they do."
"Why they put me in the cabinet?" Meredith added.
"Yeah. They want you to know how they felt."
"Us," she said against his T-shirt.
"They want us to know how they felt."
He kept forgetting that he was supposed to have watched the film too. "Yeah. Yeah, us."
Meredith pulled back a little so she could see his face. "Not that I want them to do this shit to you too, but why aren't they targeting you, Sam? I seem to be getting the worst of it," she said, laughing slightly.
He just shrugged. "I don't know. They seem to be doing different stuff to me, really. You know how I could see Suzette on the couch?"
"Well, she seemed to be... it was almost like she was flirting with me."
"Oh, how horrible for you," Meredith deadpanned.
Sam couldn't help but laugh awkwardly in response. "I know, not so awful, but it was weird, you know? She kept talking to me like I was her boyfriend or something. Mentioned someone named Matthias. That I could find his picture in the books."
"You didn't bring them with you."
"No. I'll just have to remember to look when I get back to my room."
Since it had been brought up, Meredith clung to his neck and pleaded, "Please stay here for the rest of the night, Sam. Please? I know the sun will be up soon, but I'm still really shaken, and I don't want to sleep alone."
"Do you think Sully will peek her head in here at any time?"
"No. She's pretty cool, and I've never done anything to make her distrust me."
"Until now?" he asked, joking.
That brought a slow smile to her face, even a small chuckle. "Yeah."
Sam hugged her again. She really was a very likeable girl, sassy, and not so bad to look at either. "Okay. So long as you think we can get away with it without incurring Sully's wrath, I'll stay the night."
Meredith smiled gratefully.
Sam wasn't even sure why he got into bed with her. It was just a little twin bed, and it wasn't like they didn't have a futon in the room for guests. The two of them practically overflowed out of that bottom bunk, but Sam could deal with it. He felt protective and responsible for Meredith, not just because she was kinda cute, but because she was his first case to work by himself. He'd lied to her to gain her trust, and now he had to see her through this.
For her own part, Meredith didn't mind being squished between the wall and Sam's substantial bare chest at all. It wasn't such a tight fit that she couldn't enjoy the feel of him against her. "You more comfortable with your shirt off?"
Mmm. New York minute. "I wonder about a couple of things."
"Well, wasn't the Nazi supposed to be a doctor? Why would he have someone else run the blood tests on his daughters?" Meredith really did wonder about that, but mostly she just wanted to get some small talk going, feel Sam's chest moving under her arm.
"Probably to get an unbiased opinion. Doctors can't always treat their own families. You know, they're too close."
"Oh, right. That makes sense."
They were silent for a moment. Birds were beginning to chirp outside the window. "There's another thing."
"This is... it's kind of unpleasant. But I can't help but wonder about it." To see if he'd tense up in reaction, Meredith put her head on Sam's shoulder. He did not tense up. "Why did he build a gas chamber out of his wife's china cabinet? I mean, if he wanted to... kill his daughter that way... couldn't he have just taken her to work?"
Although it seemed wrong, Sam had to laugh a little. Taken his daughter to work. "That would give new meaning to Take Your Daughters to Work Day, wouldn't it?" He shook his head at his own black joke. "It's a fair question. But the answer... I think it's simple. And pretty sick."
"He did it because he liked building the thing himself. Right?"
"I think so."
Meredith continued, "The sick bastard enjoyed making his own gas chamber. Like when an artist looks at a block of stone and sees the figure they can carve out, a disturbed little turd like that looks at a china cabinet and sees the tool of death he can make out of it." She huffed out an angry breath. "I bet he got a hard-on while cobbling it together, the sick motherfucker."
"It probably made it easier for him to control his 'experiment' as well. Doing everything on a smaller scale and all that."
"Mm." Another moment of silence while they both thought about it. "It's like one of Hitler's twin experiments. Pitting one twin against the other to see just how close their bond is. How could he allow that to happen to his own - " Stopping herself, Meredith paused before finishing. "I guess they weren't his children."
"But that doesn't make it okay."
"No. No, it doesn't." A tremble passed through her body, and she moved in closer to Sam, wrapping an arm around him. "Sam, I'm scared. That illusion they showed me, it was really intense, the most intense one yet. I've only got about a day and a half left. What else are they going to make me see?"
He didn't know. He couldn't know. "I think the best thing we can do is to do more research on the Metternich girls. That'll at least give us some idea." Sam looked down at her, camped out on his shoulder. "You weren't really planning to go to class today, were you?"
"Not my morning classes. But, at least the night one."
"Okay then. We do research after we get up."
"Whenever that will be."
Sam chuckled. "Yeah, it's almost morning. Damn little girls, keeping us up."
"What do you think Keaner will do when he finds someone broke into his office? That the film is gone?" Meredith suddenly asked, changing the subject.
"God... I don't know. Hopefully he won't put out a dragnet or something." Sinking lower into the bed, Sam added, "How could he even figure out it was us?"
"Yeah, I guess you're right," Meredith sighed. "No one who owned a cursed film would ever think the people he showed it to would figure out what it could do." She looked up into his hazel eyes. "Would he?"
Sam thought about it for a long time before speaking again; the silence went on so long that Meredith almost asked him what he was thinking so hard about. Finally, he said, "Maybe we better burn that film as soon as we can."
"I hope you don't get in trouble because I took it."
That surprised him; he hadn't expected her to say such a thing. Sam was used to taking these kinds of risks. It's what one had to do to fight the supernatural. "It was the right thing to do, Meredith. We're protecting others from that film. I'm glad you took it."
"Still... I don't want you to get in trouble."
"Well I don't want you to get in trouble either."
"People would expect it from me. You're from Lawrence, Kansas, for Christ's sake."
Sam looked down at her and just laughed. "You're something else, you know that?"
He was still chuckling when she leaned up and gave him a light kiss on the mouth. His eyes widened, and he froze in surprise. "Be with me tonight, Sam," Meredith whispered. She kissed him again, stronger this time, seeing her chance. "I'm very attracted to you."
Sam couldn't say that the feeling wasn't at least a bit mutual. Jessica, she was still there, in the back of his mind, but... Meredith was warm against him, smelling good, feeling good, wearing nothing but panties and a terrycloth robe. Maybe she'd been trying to get him to this moment with the lack of clothing, and maybe he'd caught her just before laundry day; at that moment, Sam didn't care. He just wanted to be with her. Without saying a thing, Sam slipped a hand up the side of her head and into her hair, and kissed her back.
When their love-making was finished, they held each other lightly for a few more moments, trying to catch their breath. "You're still sleeping over, aren't you?" she asked. Of course, she hoped he would.
Sam nodded, absently running a hand through her hair. "Yeah," he replied, and added, "But I think we'd fit better on the futon."
Out of all the nightmares the Metternich twins could have sent her, Meredith thought she'd seen the worst of it. Could anything be worse than seeing that child put into the cabinet, or Nazis marching through her 10AM class?
She didn't realize just how cruel Suzette could be, not until now.
Curled up on the futon next to Sam, Meredith dreamed of walking through a fair with him, holding his hand and pushing Lizzie in a baby stroller. "Should we play that one?" he asked, pointing out a ring toss game. "The prizes are pretty big."
"Oh, Lizzie would love that big purple monkey," she replied. "Yes, play that one."
"I can win it for her, easy." Sam turned his back and began to throw rings at a row of bottles.
Lizzie clapped her hands and grinned, looking up at her mother.
At first, Meredith didn't recognize Suzette when she walked into her dream. The raven-haired young woman looked a little older than her, at a time in her life when she must have become Suzette Christaller instead of Suzette Metternich. She wasn't wearing the low-cut dress that Sam had seen her in, but she was still clad in an evening dress, a blue one this time. Meredith looked at her, wondering who she was and what she was doing there, and suddenly it hit her.
"I saw your picture in one of the books Sam has," she said. "You're Suzette, as an adult."
"Yes. I am." Suzette looked down at Meredith's child, then at Sam, playing the ring toss game. "This is a cozy little domestic situation you've cooked up here," she added, amused and smug.
Any hint of a smile left Meredith's face. "I'm not stupid. I know that Sam and I just met."
"Then why are you dreaming about him, taking you and your child out to play, holding hands like lovers?"
Meredith already wanted to punch the ghost in the face for the condescending laughter in her voice. "He's just a symbol."
"Yeah. Something I think you should understand, with all the cryptic shit you put in that film."
Suzette laughed, and took a seat on a nearby bench. The bench had a large painted statue of a clown, sitting on the bench with its arm draped across the back of it as if it had its arm around her. Lighting up a long, thin cigarette, Suzette looked at the clown, and tittered. "Plastic. Things weren't made like this in my day. In my day, things were made to last." She looked up at Meredith and took a puff off the cigarette. "Like love affairs."
With a sigh, Meredith tried to explain her dream. "Lizzie's father isn't a good guy. He's been in and out of jail, no good hood... was even shot once. I don't really want him for her father. But I do want Lizzie to have a dad someday, before she gets too much older." She gazed at Sam's back, him still tossing rings. "I want a standup guy like Sam to be Lizzie's dad. That's why I'm dreaming about him. I know we hardly know each other, but who knows what could happen after this is all over."
Suzette, taking a long drag off the cigarette, just grinned at her story at first. "Hm. I can see why you'd want a 'standup guy' like Sam, after making babies with hoodlums and criminals. Men like Sam are much more reliable."
"I didn't make 'babies,' I made one baby."
"And you think a guy like Sam might want a girl like you."
Rolling her eyes, Meredith snapped, "Don't start this shit with me, lady. I told Sam everything and he didn't judge me at all. What difference does it make to you anyway?"
"It makes a difference to me because Sam will be mine." Grinning impishly, Suzette looked at her with dancing eyes. "He already is."
"How can Sam be yours?" Meredith asked, a skeptical laugh in her voice.
"Because he is the reincarnation of my true love. My husband, Matthias." She flicked a long bit of ashes to the ground. "Look him up in the books."
This wasn't a reply Meredith ever could have expected. "The reincarnation... of your husband?"
"That's crazy. I mean, what are the odds?"
Suzette sighed, gesturing with the fingers holding the cigarette. "What are the odds that he would ever run into a victim of the curse my sister and I created? I think only fate could have brought us all together."
"But it doesn't make any sense." Leaning on the handle of the stroller, Meredith asked, "If he's the reincarnation of your husband, why would you curse him too? Why would you threaten his life?"
Grinning, Suzette stared at her for several long moments before speaking. "Because, my dear girl, Sam isn't cursed."
This took Meredith by surprise. "How can you even claim a thing like that? He watched the film. He told me."
The condescending tone the woman used, the fact that she even knew Meredith's name at all, it sent a chill up her spine.
Suzette brought up something Meredith probably should have thought of herself. "If Sam is cursed, why did Professor Keaner show him the film?"
She couldn't say anything; she had no response. Meredith's mouth opened as if she had something to say, then she closed it in confusion.
Knowing that she had Meredith's full attention, Suzette continued without mercy. "We know why you have been cursed, dear Meredith - it's because you could not keep your legs closed. That seems to be a trend with you, I dare say. But you may be surprised to find that that's not all there is to your unfortunate condition. Now, why would Professor Keaner show the film my sister and I made to Sam? Do you think he has fucked the professor too?"
Meredith had listened to her entire speech, trying not to cringe at the cruel things Suzette was saying about her, and had to admit that it really didn't make sense for Keaner to show the film to Sam. At least, not now. "No, I don't think that. There may be some other reason why he'd show it to him."
"Well, maybe once you wake up, you should ask him." Flicking more ashes off her cigarette, Suzette angled her face toward Sam, who walked over to the bench with a big stuffed monkey in his arms. He kissed her on the cheek. "I don't think you'll get anywhere, my dear Meredith. I think you are just going to die."
In the back of her mind, Meredith knew this wasn't really Sam, but just a dream symbol - seeing him kiss that cruel bitch still hurt. She turned away, tears welling up in her eyes, and before she could take hold of the stroller and push Lizzie away, Sophie was there, looking up at her with those melancholy, sunken eyes. Meredith reached for the stroller, and at the same time, Sophie grabbed her wrist hard and did not let go.
Meredith awakened on the futon to the feeling of her wrist burning. She sat up with a loud gasp. The sound startled Sam awake too.
"Meredith?" he said, his voice sleepy.
Stunned, she pushed up the sleeve of her robe to take a more careful look at the handprint that had been branded into her arm.
When Sam saw it, he also sat up, quickly. "Holy crap! What happened?"
Meredith looked over at him.
I don't think you'll get anywhere, my dear Meredith. I think you are just going to die.
Before she could hold it back, she burst into tears, got up, and ran from the room.
it won't stop
The Ringu series is (c) 1998 The Ring/The Spiral Production Group. It is based on the novels by Koji Suzuki. My fanfic is more based on ideas presented in the films, which were created by director Hideo Nakata and screenwriter Hiroshi Takahashi.
The motion picture The Ring is (c) 2002 DreamWorks Pictures. The title "She Just Wanted to Be Heard" comes from a line of dialogue spoken by Rachel Keller in this movie. The motion picture The Ring Two is (c) 2005 DreamWorks Pictures. This fanfic is heavily inspired by ideas presented in the American movies, which were directed by Gore Verbinski and Hideo Nakata and written by Ehren Kruger.
I do not know if the prequel, The Ring 3, will have any bearing on this story or not until I see it.
Supernatural is (c) 2005 Kripke Enterprises, Wonderland, & Warner Brothers/The CW Television.
Everything else is (c) Demented Stuff.
Comment on this chapter on LiveJournal
Comment on this chapter by e-mail
there really is a tape