Title: The DreamAuthor: Rhonda Character: Undisclosed Rating: Strong R Spoilers: None Disclaimers: The normal disclaimers apply. The characters aren't mine and never will be. Feedback: Greatly Appreciated It was the same dream. Even while she was dreaming it, she always knew it was a dream She just couldn't seem to stop it. She couldn't seem to wake up. Every time the dream went a little further than before. Oh, God, she didn't want this to happen again. She was always wearing the same dress. It was a figment of her imagination. She had never worn such a dress. The dress was always the same. It was a white silk slip dress. It was made of layers of the sheerest material scattered with beading and sequins. It was a beautiful dress. She felt beautiful in it. It was an important party, maybe a State Dinner she's getting ready to attend. She doesn't know. In her dream she never makes it to the party. She's in an empty office. To change into the dress, she removes all her clothes. Her suit, her daily armor is removed. She's bare, without defenses. The fit of the dress won't allow for anything more. She pulls it down over her head. It's made to fit very tight. There is a hidden zipper on the side. It's just under her arm running down to the middle of her hip. Every time she has this dream she thinks that this is a stupid place for a zipper. Every time she has this dream the zipper gets stuck two inches below her waist. She can't go forward, she can't go back. She watches herself go through the same motions over and over. She gets undressed. She slips on the dress. She pulls on the zipper. It always gets stuck in the same place. She must have had this dream a dozen times. It is always the same. The zipper always sticks. It won't go up or down. Panicked, she opens the office door and calls for help. No one comes. No one is in sight. She walks back to the desk, there's no telephone. She can't leave the office like this, her dress gaping open. She's going to be late. He's gone from her real life. But in the dream he returns. She needs to stop this dream. Each time the ending becomes more detailed. She needs to stop this dream. He goes farther each time. She needs to stop this dream. It's not real. It's not real. It's not real. It feels real. He comes in and sits at the desk just like he always does. At first he doesn't seem to notice her at all. He's busy looking at the empty desk. After the first few times, she thought that if she could just not say his name, maybe he wouldn't notice her. If he didn't notice her, maybe it wouldn't happen. She tells herself not to say his name. Don't say his name. She always says his name. Danny He looks at her. She doesn't like the way he looks at her. This isn't the Danny she knows. He's angry with her. He stands beside her and pushes her arm out of the way. He traces the path of the zipper with his fingers. Stop. She needs to stop this dream. She needs to wake up, before it's too late. It's wrong. Even in a dream it's wrong. His hand slips inside her dress. It feels so warm, so alive. He only uses one hand to touch her. That part never changes. Always just one hand. One hand to trace the skin over her ribs. One hand to leave warm fingerprints on her body. Her skin glows where he's touched her. His hand strokes the skin just under her bare breasts. She can feel the ridges on his fingertips as he rubs her skin. She wants to wake up but instead she leans back against him. He whispers in her ear. She arches her back. He circles her breasts one at a time with his hand. He fingers the tips. His hand feels so warm, but she shivers. She looks down and sees his hand beneath her white dress. It's moving, searching. Moving. This is when she usually wakes up. Usually. She prays she doesn't say his name out loud. She prays she doesn't wake the other man sleeping beside her.