[So basically one of my *sits down and just types what comes in one big, rambling session*! This on the honey-dreaming, and OF COURSE contains spoilers! Also it is mostly just a vomit of words, that follows roughly "Nemesis" 25-29.]
The chaise longue is a heavy thing...their chaise longue is a heavy thing. It takes reminding that they actually own such an expensive and well-built piece of furniture. Well all of it really. A London office. Even a Fallen London office, but it is still the country’s capital! A detective from a little country village, successful enough to open an office in the city of London. Even Roberto should be proud, but of course he and Margaret could care less. Cassius could not prevent the murder after all, so what use are they? Certainly not part of the family, in any case. But the chaise longue is a heavy thing. It took all of their might to get it through the door of the waiting room, and into a place beside their couch. The Dreaming Scholar would be there soon, and if this was going to be about dangerous honey-dreaming, then it was best to go about it in the almost empty Ladybones’ rooms. Their almost empty Ladybones’ rooms. This was the first time in almost a year-a year in July-that they had taken Prisoner’s Honey, and though they had promised their belle that they would bravely try it with him, this was business. This was not going to be something pleasant, and there would be no-one there with which to hold their hand, and not let go. Guide them perhaps, but no loving voice and hand. As Cassius sits down, and opens brandy (...plum?), they could admit to themself that they were uneasy. Scared. Terrified. But they would still say ‘uneasy’. Always the brave one. They are uneasy as they wait for that woman to arrive, and though it is an unwise move, they take a drink from the bottle.
When she arrives, she gives a compliment to their set-up, but advises that they lock all their doors and windows. Sound advise perhaps, given that they had just huddled her away in a honey-maze, but still advice that makes their stomach churn. They lay on their back, and she on hers, and take the dose she hands over. Not the whirlwind, the vacuum that was the Gaoler’s Honey, but it is startling just the same. It is raining. Cold, dreary rain. The only place that Cassius can compare it to is France, but that doesn’t seem quite right. ‘European’, and not another person in sight. Alone. They are alone. They do not know where they are, and they are alone. And the rain batters down. And it seeps into their jacket, through their shirt, and almost into their bones. All Cassius can do is walk, walk and knock on the doors of empty buildings, with all the doors bearing five locks. And then they are not alone, but they almost wish they were. Howling, barking, dogs or wolves yelp and claw at the doors, trying to get out. For a moment Cassius wonders if they will either drown in the rain, or be eaten. Surely the wet will rot the wood, and then what will protect them? If only they could weep. Yet they still keep walking, perhaps that d---able woman is here?
As they walk they reach a hill, a winding path that as they walk along the rain begins to clear, and the higher they climb, the more the sun comes out. Until at the top they come upon a walled garden. The door locked, but not locked, perhaps the rain rusted it open? But the metal is dry, and the wood is dry, and the only one soaked is themself. They are so very cold, even standing in such bright sunshine. They push the door open, wishing that their walking-stick had come with them. A proper walled-garden greets them, not one filled with cages, and d---ed people for its lilies, but this is filled with actual roses. Cassius has not been in a proper walled-garden since they were not even of age, and the air is sweet and the sun is shining down, making soothing shade, and it almost does not matter that they are alone. But as their ears adjust to the silence they can hear voices, and they are not alone. The roses are having a chat about Aristotle...How do they know that? “Ah-riz-tod-dal.” Cassius sounds it out, their accent stumbling over the word. This place reminds them of another garden, but they cannot remember what said garden is from. But this place has no barking tree...well the wolf-dogs below should certainly be protection enough...The flowerbeds must be hard, in any case...And though the roses have not even acknowledged the new presence, they keep talking so Cassius must be worth enough for that. They shake their head and pinch their nose bridge--making their thoughts get back on task! The moment after they open their eyes and the walls are gone, and this is still the garden, but now it is by a stream. A gentle stream rolling along, and turning water wheels, and now a rainbow stretches-out over everything. A scene of wonder; they spin around taking it all in. But there is a sadness to it all. All they can think of is A*****. A*****, and their belle. Their eyes fall on the bleached bones of a long dead lion, and a table...an altar? Were these things here before? Back in the stone walls? Where they only obscured in the shade? Were the roses hiding them? Or did they arrive with the stream? There must be a reason for this, ‘in any case’, and so Cassius wanders over to look. It is a stumbling gait, the damp and cold making their knee stiff and ache, but it is something they are used to by now...A key? On the table is a key. A stone key, with sharp, curved teeth...knives? Teeth of knives? All of stone. ...Stone knife? Cassius shuts their eyes and cuts off these thoughts as well. And then they realise that the roses have stopped talking. They are all looking at them, and waiting. Holding their breath as if to ask “Are you taking this from us? Do you have need of it as we do?” Thinking that there is a reason that they have dreamed of this, Cassius extends their hand to claim it--
And they are back on the chaise longue. Still soaked, and that can’t be good for the leather they idly think--But where is the Dreaming Scholar? Has she not come back yet? Is going back a risk they dare take? Can their body handle it? Will this kill them? Ruin their mind? But that d---able woman is not back yet! They need her information, all of her information. Nothing can be allowed to stand in the way of their goals. So they throw off the lid of the honeypot, and plunge their hand in. Enough to make up a similar dose, Cassius slips their scooped fingers into their mouth.
A similar city, the same city? The air hangs heavy with the smell of rust and cyanide. Thick with it, and the water is thick...Is that the Unterzee? Is that honey? The water laps cloyingly at the extending wharf, leaving it coated in...if they concentrate, they can smell a faint sweet scent. But that is lost as the choking, bitter air fills their lungs. But it is only because they think it should be choking, and though the taste is almost unbearable, they do not let themself collapse. There are people here. A man cries over a pile of money, and faceless women glide about. Children play, and devils stroll between it all. But it is a scene of horror as people fall over from the air, in coughing, sputtering death-throes. Cassius keeps wandering the streets until they finally find that woman--sitting on a bench of doves. She just looks to them with uninterested & honey-sated eyes, and shrugs. “Poisoned air and money with no value. A calm day, for the Iron Republic.”
Cassius isn’t long dragging her to wake-up.