Title: The Dream 2Author: Rhonda Character: CJ/Danny 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. The elements were just the same. The empty office except for a desk and a chair and a white slip dress. It was the same dress. The dress was made of layers of the sheerest material scattered with beading and sequins It was a beautiful dress. She felt beautiful in it. No, not again. She needs to wake up. She needs to wake up. "Ms. Cregg, Ms. Cregg!" the flight attendant was shaking her shoulder. "We're getting ready to land. You need to raise your seatback." Startled, a groggy CJ looked up into the stranger's eyes and smiled with relief; this time she woke up. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It's a beautiful dress. No, not again. She runs her fingers over the beading at the rounded neckline. Why does this keep happening? She needs to wake up. As she slips the dress down over her head, it seems to float in the air for a second before clinging to her naked skin. It's a beautiful dress. She feels beautiful in it. There's a party tonight. It's important, but she doesn't know what it's for. She doesn't know. In her dream she never makes it to the party. She's in an empty office, changing clothes. It's the same dream again. She needs to wake up. Under the dress she's bare, without defenses. The fit of the dress won't allow for anything more. Her life doesn't allow for anything more. It's made to fit very tight. God, not the zipper again. It always sticks. The zipper's on the side of the dress, under her arm. Stupid place to have a zipper. It always sticks in the same place. Maybe the dress doesn't fit right. No, it's just the zipper. She needs to close it. The dress won't close. The zipper won't go up and it won't go back down. She can't go forward and she can't go back. He's going to show up again. No, this can't keep happening. She watches herself go through the same motions over and over. She must have had this dream a dozen times. It is always the same. The zipper sticks and she can't close the dress. She can't leave the office with her dress unzipped. She can't leave. Going back is not an option either, she can't get the dress off. The beautiful dress holds her like a trap. Panicked, she opens the office door and calls for help. No one is in sight, no one comes to help her. But she knows he'll come. In this dream he always comes. He's gone from her real life. But in this dream he returns to torment her with what she's lost. She needs to stop this dream. He goes farther each time and she lets him. She needs to stop this dream, it's not real. She's made her choice. It can't be him. The dream's not real. It feels real. There he is again. At first he doesn't seem to notice her at all. He's busy looking at the empty desk. He sees her empty life. After the first few times, she thought that if she could just not say his name, maybe he wouldn't notice her. She wants to hide from him. If she doesn't say his name, it won't happen. She tells herself not to say his name. This time don't say his name. His name slips out like a benediction. "Danny" He sees her soul, but he's not pleased. His piercing stare hurts. This isn't the Danny she knows. He's angry with her. She made her choice, she couldn't choose him. He needs to go away, but in the dream he never does. Tracing the zipper's path, his fingers scorch her skin. 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. She needs to stop him. She needs to put her hands on his and still his movement. Her arms feel so heavy. She tries to raise them but they fail her commands. His hand feels so warm. He only uses one hand to touch her. He keeps one hand back. That part never changes. Always just one hand. Once again he uses his hand to explore her body through the zipper opening. She can't keep him out. She watches his hand moving under the sheer material of the dress. This dream has got to stop. She made her choice. For long moments he holds her left breast. His hand is so large, his fingers rough. He holds her heart. She can feel the ridges on his fingertips as he rubs her skin. He doesn't let her forget. She needs to make him leave, but like always she just leans back against him. He whispers in her ear. She arches her back. He circles her breasts one last time with his hand His hand feels so warm, but she shivers from a chill. Holding her breath, she sees the shadow of his hand moving downward. She watches it move between her legs. The heat sears her soul. The feelings rush at her. The sensations merge and flow, building towards a peak. Then it stops. His hand is gone. She looks up. Danny's gone. That's never happened before, not in the dream. She turns around but the room is empty. Danny's gone. This is what she wanted. This is what she wanted. Why does she feel so bereft? She wakes with tears on her face. For the first time she remembers what he whispers to her. In the dream he always whispers goodby.