Title: Reality Takes A Break
Characters: Dash, Mars
Summary: Dash and Mars are having trouble knowing what's real...
Dash awoke with a smile on his face, a first ever since waking up in Eerie for sure. He closed his eyes and replayed the night's events in his mind.
He had absolutely no idea what led him to want to kill himself. Couldn't even remember where he got the rope. Irrelevant information considering the outcome.
Dash soon tired of grasping around in his mind for answers; back to thinking about all the good stuff.
He stretched out an arm with the aim of reliving the previous night's fantasy, but once he realized there was nobody beside him to hold onto, he sat up suddenly, feeling around the mattress in vain as if he would find some clue of his whereabouts between the wrinkles of the aged sheets.
Calm down, Dash, he's probably just gone out for a whizz.
But a deep, empty feeling sat at the pit of his stomach that told him otherwise. He didn't feel his presence. Not in the bed, not in the room, not generally. It was like any trace of him ever having been there was completely gone. It was still pitch black outside, too early for him to have gone home.
He counted the minutes until Marshall arrived at school. It was windy and the sky threatened rain; the kids were too busy running into school to notice Dash slinking in through the side door and up the stairs.
Marshall approached cautiously. Dash didn't say a word.
"Lemme guess, you're here to put into action your exciting new plan to send me further down the road to insanity, right?" he quipped as he opened the locker door.
Dash snorted bitterly and slammed the locker shut. "No. I've come here to ask you where you went last night." His raspy voice was unusually sincere.
"Uh, what exactly do you mean where I went last night?"
Dash gave a sarcastic look of confusion, flinging his hands into the air for added effect.
"I'm late enough for class as it is. Not really in the mood for any of your games right now so just get outta my way, will you?" Marshall reopened his locker only for Dash to slam it shut again, this time harder.
"Wait, wait, wait. You're not going anywhere 'til you explain yourself to me, Teller. I came this close to-' he paused and lowered his voice, 'I came this close to killing myself last night, and you just up and leave without so much as a word. I wasn't expecting a sympathy card and flowers, but I'd expect a little more consideration, even from you."
Marshall froze. "What!? What did you just say?' A look of utter confusion crossed his face. 'How did you-"
"Look, just tell me the reason and I'll be out of your hair, alright?' His face was tinged pink but he blinked it off, refusing to give up. 'When I woke up, you were gone. I think I deserve some kinda explanation."
Something mondo-bizzaro was going on. How does he know what I dreamt about last night? Marshall stared at him, mouth agape.
"Where do I start? The last time I saw you, you had a knife to my throat and I was tied up,' he swallowed and added awkwardly, 'wearing nothing but a towel.' Dash looked on with a blank expression as Marshall continued, 'And now you're stalking me in my fucking dreams. I didn't tell a single person I dreamt of you trying to off yourself last night. So what exactly do you expect me to have to say to you?"
Dash's eyes flicked around the corridor as he tried to digest what he had just heard. Dream? Is Marshall messing with me? Suddenly regretted last night and decided to pass it off as a figment of his imagination?
"Yeah, nice try. The fact that you remember it, and I remember it...well, I'm not a fucking mind reader, if I were I'd've won the lottery and high-tailed it out of this place by now. So you remember it as a dream,' in finger quotations, 'and I remember it as real, still proves it happened if both of us experienced it, anyway."
Marshall instinctively felt his forearm. Dash, remembering the knife incident, grabbed Marshall and tugged up his sleeve.
Dash's eyes widened. No cuts. He pulled up his own sleeve - same thing.
"So it was a dream." Dash lowered his head, lost in his own thoughts.
Marshall was dumb-founded, something he noticed was happening a lot around Dash lately.
Dash continued, "But we both experienced it." He chuckled at the irony, shoving his hands into his pockets cagily. "I guess I just have a harder time separating dreams from reality."
Marshall blushed, remembering how the dream had ended. But just because they'd shared the beginning and middle of the dream didn't mean they'd shared the ending, right? He was afraid to say anything and hoped that Dash wouldn't bring it up either. The thing he couldn't deny was the obvious connection they had. How was it possible to share dreams with someone?
"So you didn't leave. You just...woke up." Dash seemed to be talking to himself. He took one step towards Marshall as if to say something, but Jennifer beat him to it.
"Hi Marshall! Ready for class?" She grabbed his hand, pulling him down the hallway towards the classroom.
Marshall glanced back at Dash, whose eyes expressed it all: Paralysis. Shock. Defeat.