Disclaimer: Daria and associated characters are owned by MTV. This is fan fiction written for entertainment only. No money or other negotiable currency or goods have been exchanged.
Original characters and plot copyright Richard J. Lobinske. 2004.
An alternative history based on the Falling Into College stories. Set in late spring/early summer after Daria's first year at Raft. She and Jane share an apartment in a house in south Boston. Daria has been romantically involved with Michael Fulton for six months. While Daria attends summer classes in Boston, Michael is staying with his parents in a Detroit suburb while working for his father.
This is the PG-13 version of the story.
Daria Morgendorffer's hands glided down the sides of a dark green, silk nightgown as she nervously waited for Michael Fulton to arrive at her south Boston apartment. The green matched the malachite pendant resting just above her breasts and contrasted with her auburn hair.
At the sound of the doorbell, she jumped, but approached it with anticipation. After peeking through the spyglass, Daria silently opened the door and carefully kept behind it. A young man with straight, red hair and glasses entered carrying a single yellow rose in a green vase. When Michael turned to close the door, he stopped to look in pleasure as Daria finished closing it.
She gave him a warm smile as she accepted the offered flower. "You always said you wanted things to be special for me. The feeling has been mutual."
He looked down at the simple slacks and dress shirt he had on. "This may sound strange, but I feel underdressed now."
Daria smelled the rose and carefully set it on the table. "Perhaps, we can do something about that. Take off your shoes and get comfortable."
After he was done, Daria took his hands and slowly led him into her candlelit room and closed the door. Turning, she slid her hands up along the side of his neck and rested them on his cheeks. She gently pulled his face down and gave him a long kiss. He responded by slowly and softly running his hands along her arms, across her shoulders and lightly encompassing her in an embrace.
She released and slid her fingertips down his chest, stopping at each button to open it. Michael moved both hands down to her lower back and drew his fingernails back up along either side of the spine. She released a silent gasp and rolled her head back. He gently kissed her neck as it was exposed, proceeding down slowly to the upper edge of her gown.
Michael stepped back in wonder at the graceful beauty of the petite woman in front of him, from her modest-sized, firm breasts to her fine-boned hips and the graceful lines of her legs. Like so many truly in love, his eyes accepted the small things that a model would fear: the slight roll around the waist and the slight unevenness of extra weight on her thighs. To him, she was a vision of absolute beauty. As he drew her into a gentle hug, feeling the warm softness of her skin against his for the first time, he sighed in deep happiness.
She appreciated the firm lines of his muscled legs and her eyes also blended away the slight paunch of stomach. To her, he was what handsome should be.
Both shuddered in delight as they embraced again, feeling the warm touch of their skin. Holding hands, they took the remaining few steps and slowly reclined on the bed as they fell into a loving embrace. They slowly removed each other's glasses, visually limiting their world to just each other. Cautious, gentle, and caring, they touched and explored each other. Unrushed and joyous, they consummated their love for the first time and tenderly held each other after.
Daria opened her eyes to dimly see the early morning sun coming in the window. There was a pillow held in her arms and her night shirt was damp with sweat. She blinked several times and worked to recover her breath, swallowing hard. "Whoa."
She grabbed her glasses, crawled out of bed, and began an unsteady walk to the bedroom door. Daria jumped when she opened the door and saw her roommate, Jane Lane, leaning against the wall down the hall. Her arms were crossed and she had a huge grin on her face.
Jane raised her eyebrows. "Your Raft roommate, Karen, was right. It sounds like you have some very entertaining dreams."
Blushing brightly, Daria rushed past Jane and said, "Nothing like that, before."
Michael opened his eyes with a start and took several seconds to realize he was in his bedroom, at his parent's house outside Detroit. He set aside the pillow he had been holding and turned the sheets over. He felt a slight chill as the cool air hit the lingering sweat on his body.
After getting his glasses from the nightstand, he rolled out of bed and shuffled to the window. Still little short of breath, he gazed eastward into the predawn morning and said, "That...seemed so real."
Amy Barksdale had a wry grin as she read the latest email from her favorite niece, Daria. As the description became more involved, Amy first raised an eyebrow in amusement, but it swiftly changed into serious concern. Closing the program, she located her address book and found Daria's new phone number.
After several rings, Daria answered, "Hello."
Amy sighed in relief. "Daria, my favorite niece."
"Hey, I just read your last email."
Daria blushed. "Um...yeah. You're the only person I can...discuss it with. It seemed so real."
"Daria, please don't think I've gone nuts or anything, but I need you to check something. Follow my directions exactly and get back."
Daria looked at the phone in amused confusion after taking the notes, disappearing for a couple minutes. She returned pale and shaken. Her hand trembled as she picked up the phone. "Amy...I don't understand...I should be...we haven't..."
Amy fell back in her seat. Dammit. It was supposed to skip her generation. "Daria, this is going to be hard for you to accept..."
"What! I think I would have noticed!"
"Oh, you noticed. You described it very well in your email."
"Amy, that was a dream."
"Daria, it was a dream you made a reality."
"What are you talking about?"
Amy rubbed her temples to forestall the coming headache. "The curse of our maternal bloodline."
"Amy, you're getting strange on me."
"This is strange. Daria, the curse was supposed to skip your generation, but for some reason, you're one. Like me."
"One? One what?"
"As in the myth?"
"No myth; we're real, though misunderstood."
"So, I'm some demon that has sex in dreams."
Amy's reply was firm. "You're not a demon. You're a spirit."
"And the sex in dreams part?"
Amy softened in concern. "Is right. That's why I'm worried about you."
"Do I drain the life from...?"
"No, that's part of the misunderstanding. I'm worried...how do I put this...direct is best. The curse begins with puberty. Like most young people, we will dream first about...well...foreplay, and eventually sex. Only in our cases, the sex is completely real. As in, it can have full consequences."
Amy cringed back from the phone. "Have you been on the pill?"
"No! I wasn't aware that I had a need." Daria sat down as another shocking realization hit. "You mean my first was..."
Daria sat in one of the folding chairs that constituted the living room furniture. See had her knees drawn up in front of her and arms wrapped around them. She stared at the television she'd brought from her old room in Lawndale.
The announcer said, "Lust in the mailbox. Email sex, the answer for long-distance relationships. Next, on Sick, Sad, World."
"That, I don't need." Daria punched the remote and turned off the television. She stared at the blank screen. "Thank goodness that I was too disgusted with boys to have any dreams when I lived in Highland." An involuntary shudder ran through her. "Should I tell Trent?" Her eyes opened a little wider. "Not a word to Jane until I really get handle on this. If she knew Trent was my first." She rubbed the back of her neck and shook her head. "Or Tom. All that worry and we already had."
She shifted her legs to sit cross-legged. "What do I tell Michael?" Sadness crossed her face. "I thought we would be each other's first." She looked back at the television screen and gave it a sarcastic laugh. "Though it would have solved part of the long-distance relationship problem if he'd gone to Rome for that school."
Amy's voice cut through her thoughts. "Hey, are you in there?"
Daria turned in surprise. "Huh? Oh, I didn't hear you."
Amy closed and locked the front door. "Deep in thought. I know I dumped a world-o-weirdness on you last night." She pulled up a chair and sat directly in front of Daria. "It wasn't easy, but at least grandmother knew to expect one of us to be."
"So, you knew earlier?"
"Not long after I turned thirteen. You've been very fortunate that nothing happened to you before now."
Daria snorted. "I guess being so unpopular that I rarely even dreamed of guys did have its advantages."
"But that's over now. You have a guy you're seriously attracted to." Amy smirked a bit at Daria. "Is he really that nice?"
Daria nodded. "Yes. I think...I know...that is one of the big reasons he got to me."
"I'm going to teach you some...mental techniques to help control your dreams. But, it will take time for you to get up to speed. We must get you on the pill as soon as possible and get some alternatives set up immediately."
"Until the pill is fully working, you will need to use some kind of contraceptive before you go to sleep, every night."
Daria sunk down in her chair. "It's going to be difficult keeping something like that hidden when you have someone as observant as Jane around. She'll notice the packaging, or if I start taking the trash out every morning."
"Try your best, but you don't have a choice."
Daria looked back at Amy. "Is this why you never married?"
Amy sadly nodded. "He...couldn't deal with it." She looked up at Daria. "Be careful about telling Michael. It's very easy for a man to become jealous when he knows that we can have almost anyone we want...and nobody else will know."
Daria shook her head. "I can't keep something like this from him. But, the phone or email just seems too cold." Daria's eyes brightened. "Can you teach me to take control of what I say in dreams?"
"That is fairly easy."
"Do it. I'm going to tell him tonight."
Jane looked into the room. "Daria, why are you putting sheets on Karen's bed? She's not supposed to be back until August."
Daria looked up from tucking in the top sheet. "My Aunt Amy's in town and will use the room for a couple days."
Jane raised an eyebrow. "The Aunt Amy?"
"Well, last time I checked, she's Number Six."
"This is rather sudden."
"True, I hope you don't mind."
Jane shrugged one shoulder. "Not really, but you'd look for pods if I didn't give you a hard time about it."
Jane walked to the kitchen. After a few minutes, she returned with a sandwich and a soda just as Daria was finishing the bed. Jane leaned against the door frame and smirked. "Going to give her some early morning entertainment like yesterday?"
Jane stood up straight when she noticed the color drain from her best friend's face and her hands clutch the bedspread. "Daria? I expected a smartass remark or a thrown pillow. Not you looking like you've seen a ghost."
Daria shook her head. "Crap. I was hoping..." Daria patted the bed. "Have a seat, this is going to be...very odd."
Jane laughed loudly. "You mean that the same time you were blushing to be in the same room with him, you were...at night?"
Daria shivered and held herself. "Jane, this is not funny. And, it was only a couple times."
"Talk about the lady or the tiger. What about Tom?"
"Not when you were dating him. Only once; the night before we had planned to and I got cold feet."
"Your feet may have been cold..."
"I'm sure you've had a few erotic dreams."
"Yeah, but I never reached out and touched someone." Jane smirked back.
"Jane! Dammit, this is serious. I didn't know it was going on like that."
"Well, that explains why Trent always wanted to sleep."
Daria angrily retorted, "I could have gotten into a lot of trouble. How you would like to have a two or three-year old niece or nephew by now?"
"What? Hey, it was only dreams."
Daria shook her head in frustration. "That I make real, with the same possible outcomes."
Jane looked in shock. "You mean you could have gotten pregnant?"
"Yes! The same way I am not a virgin! What I dream; happens."
"Yikes! Daria, I'm sorry." Jane thought for a moment and became more concerned. "That must have scared the crap out of you."
"No kidding. Could you imagine trying to explain it to my folks if something had happened?"
"Can I skip that part?"
Daria forced herself to calm down. "Jane, I know you were only having a little fun. I'm sorry I snapped."
Jane put an arm around her shoulder. "I think this can be called a full-blown freak-out. You're allowed to be cranky."
Daria smiled a little. "Thanks."
Jane raised an eyebrow. "You...didn't dream about me when I was at the art colony..."
Daria said, "No." After a moment, she turned toward Jane with wide eyes.
Jane grinned. "Gotcha."
Daria threw a pillow.
Jane grinned as she opened the door. "The infamous Aunt Amy. Glad to finally meet you."
Amy extended a hand. "You must be Jane. Good to meet you, too."
After closing the door, Jane looked seriously at Amy. "Daria told me about the dreams and why you're here. I'll help any way I can."
Amy looked a little relieved as she set the sealed paper bag from the drug store on the table. "Thanks. She was worried about telling you."
"Well, me and my big mouth."
"You seem to be taking this rather well."
"'I'll be honest; I don't know what to believe. But Daria believes, therefore, I'll be here for her."
"You are a good friend."
Jane raised a half-smile. "Though thinking about her taking advantage of my brother..."
Amy patted Jane's shoulder. "As I explained to Daria, in the dream realm, you can't force yourself on somebody. They have to be a willing participant. Though, there are a few ethically foul ways to convince or coerce someone to be willing."
"So my brother..."
"Inhibitions are also lower in the dream realm. She didn't take advantage of him."
"Still, she was underage, I'd have thought..."
"I'm sure you've had a few dreams that you've enjoyed, but would never do in reality."
Jane blushed. "Uhh...I'll take the fifth on that."
"As far has he knew, it was only a dream. Possibly embarrassing, but something he clearly never would have tried...if he knew it was real."
Amy smiled. "Now, image having the ability Daria and I have, to make it real. The temptation is considerable."
Jane looked at Amy with concern. "That must be hell to keep a lid on."
"There is a reason we got a reputation for being wanton. Not all of us are able to maintain restraint. That's why I'm here: to help Daria learn how to restrain her unconscious mind. Then, she will be able to control the dreams better."
Daria tossed and turned in her bed. Unfortunately, this whole dream conversation plan relies on me being able to fall asleep. She tried again some of the relaxation techniques Amy had demonstrated. Slowly, she felt her limbs grow less tense and, gradually, slumber arrived.
Daria looked around. This must be his bedroom back home. Odd, I have no problem seeing in the dark. Michael was sprawled on his left side, one arm under his head. As she approached the bed, Daria became aware of an almost overpowering desire building within. Keeping my concentration is going to be harder than I thought. She moved next to the bed and sat on the edge, leaning over to kiss him.
He smiled and rolled over on his back. His warm response rapidly increased the arousal she was feeling. "Michael."
Daria peeled back the sheet to reveal his bare chest. Whoa. "Michael."
His eyes opened slightly, and then widely. "Daria?"
She smiled at him. "I'm here."
"You're such a wonderful sight."
She leaned over him and kissed him warmly. "I'm..." She took a deep breath. "I'm going to call you tomorrow morning at seven." She ran her hand down his chest. She could feel his hand gliding down her side. She lightly moaned with pleasure at the touch. "Remember I was here. Remember I can talk to you."
"Hmm." He drew a line of kisses along her neck. "I don't think I'll forget a visit like this."
"This really is a visit; I am in your dream, but also physically with you." She struggled to maintain a little control. "I need to tell you something important tomorrow night. The call..." She inhaled as his hand drew up her spine. "...will remind you that I can really be here." She pulled his head up and passionately kissed him. "But, enough talk for now."
Jane quietly opened the door and noticed Amy in the hall. She whispered, "Couldn't sleep, either?"
Amy shook her head. "No. I'm worried about her."
Jane could hear muffled sounds from the room at the far end of the hall. "When I thought it was only a dream, it was amusing. Now I feel, icky."
Amy guided Jane toward the living room. "I hope she was able to maintain control long enough to talk to him."
"Daria is good at control."
Once in the living room, Amy set two chairs close together. "Jane, the dream realm has a powerful effect on us." Amy nodded toward Daria's room. "It can be overwhelming. I wish I knew why the curse affected her."
"You said it was a maternal bloodline."
"That skips generations. There is a magical element that defies normal explanations. My grandmother was one, I'm one. The next should've been Daria's, Quinn's or Erin's daughter. Something very weird is happening."
"You mean, besides..." Jane nodded toward the room.
"Yes. Daria should never have been cursed." Amy gripped herself and breathed deeply. "To find out after the full dreams started."
"Probably happens often with...succubi? Is that the right term?"
"Succubae. And actually, no, it doesn't happen often. The generation the curse is expected in is watched. If the grandmother isn't around, others of us will keep an eye on things. The effects start around puberty. Normally, a girl will dream of kissing, or maybe a little more at first. That's when the curse should be noted and the education started."
"I'm so glad she has been reserved. If she'd had a typical teen infatuation level with rock stars and such..."
Jane's eyes widened.
Daria found Amy waiting at the dining table the next morning. Amy leaned her head toward the kitchen. "Coffee's ready."
Daria mumbled, "Thanks," and worked her way to the aroma. Later, she returned with a cup. "I was able to talk. I'm calling him," she looked at the clock, "in fifteen minutes."
Amy held Daria's free hand. "You okay?"
Embarrassed, she smiled. "Yes and no. I was able to talk, but couldn't control..."
"Shh. You don't need to go on."
Daria gave a slight laugh. "If Mom and Dad only knew." She suddenly looked concerned. "Amy, what does Mom know about this?"
"Nothing. The most she knows is that Granny Tidewell liked to ask awkward questions about boys and dreams when she was thirteen. Rita doesn't know, either."
"What about Quinn or Erin? Could this happen to them?"
"I don't know, now. The curse only affected one per generation, but it was supposed to skip yours. I don't have any idea of what is going on."
Amy prepared a small breakfast for Daria while she thought. At a little before 8 AM, Daria picked up the phone. "I hope this works."
Samantha Fulton answered, "Good morning."
"Hi, this is Daria. May I speak with Michael, please?"
"Oh, sure, he's right here."
Samantha held her hand over the mouthpiece and called to her son, "Michael, it's Daria."
He looked up, slightly groggy, from his scrambled eggs. "Uh...yeah." He took the phone and moved around the corner into the next room, stretching the phone cord along the way. "Daria?"
Daria held her breath. "It's seven; did you remember I was going to call?"
Michael leaned against the wall in shock. "How did you do that?"
"I was in your dream. I told you I would call."
He nervously swallowed. "I...remember." His breathing became uneven as he asked, "What about the rest of the dream?"
Daria smiled warmly. "I remember that very well. You have very talented finger tips."
"I...we..." His face turned almost a solid red.
"Michael, do you believe I was with you last night?"
"I don't know how, but you appear to have been with me."
"I need to talk to you again tonight."
"We can talk now."
"This is something I don't want to do over the phone. That is the closest I can get to talking to you in person."
"I'm confused, but okay."
"Please be patient with me. This is very important."
"For you, I can be patient. I guess I'll...see you in my dreams."
As Daria was preparing to leave, Amy asked, "Can I use your computer today? I need to track down a few references and make some contacts."
"If it can help to understand what the hell is going on, spend all day at it. I have a cable modem, so things will go quick."
"Thanks. I hope I can find some answers."
Jane bounced in the door to the apartment. "Amy! Are you here?"
Amy shuffled out from Daria's room. "Barely, but still here."
"You look beat."
"I've been researching all day and calling in a lot of favors."
"Not really. One very slim possibility, but it's not worth really considering."
"Slim, how slim?"
"Oh, about one in one or two billion."
"I got straight C's in math, that's bad, right?"
Daria spent the evening watching tapes of Sick, Sad, World and trying to make snide comments along with Jane and Amy. Approaching 11 o'clock, Daria got ready for bed.
"This has got to be the strangest feeling."
Jane raised an eyebrow.
Daria blushed lightly. "A part of me is looking forward to seeing him again."
Jane grinned. "I hope you have a good time."
"But, part of me is dreading what I have to say."
Amy gave her a hug. "Good luck, Daria. I wish I could have helped more."
Daria smiled at both and retreated to her room. She curled up on her bed and began to relax herself. I am looking forward to being with him. I can't believe how he makes me feel. A relaxed smile formed on her lips as she dozed off.
Daria looked down at herself as she stood in Michael's room. She found the attraction for him stronger than the previous night. Instead of walking around to the side of the bed, she climbed onto the foot of the bed and crawling over his body. She gently rolled his head to face upward, leaned down and gave him a long, caring kiss.
His eyes opened quickly and he delicately wrapped his arms around her. He smiled up. "You were always one to keep your word."
Daria worked her arms under his shoulders and pulled herself down against him. After, she began to kiss the side of his neck, slowly working down to his bare chest. I wanted...I need to... Her soft kisses brought a gasp. I was going to... Her kisses continued. It can wait.
Daria felt her breathing return to normal and her heart slow down to a normal beat. She rested her head on his shoulder and felt the warmth of his skin pressed against hers. A satisfied happiness suffused the air between them. "Michael, I need to explain this to you."
He smiled as he looked into her eyes. "That you give me the most incredible dreams?"
Daria held his face in both hands. "This is a dream, but what we just did was very real. I'm with you in person, and we just made love to each other."
He said in confusion, "How?"
"I'm a succubus. A spirit that can have sex with others while in the dream realm. I only discovered this a couple days ago."
"Right. A..." He trailed off when he saw the serious look in her eye. "You're not kidding."
She gently shook her head. "No. To an outside observer, I'm alone in Boston and you're alone in your room. But, we're together in a dream realm. We are physically together."
Michael looked at her in concern. "If this is physically real, what about...?"
"I took care of contraception before going to sleep. Traveling to you this way, my kind become highly aroused." Am I really starting to think of myself as a succubus? "Hence, I took precautions. But, I needed to talk to you in person. I couldn't explain this over the phone."
"This is very strange...but..."
Daria felt herself blushing. Dammit, this is my dream. I don't want to do that. "I'm still learning to control this. You are aware of how the unconscious mind can wander? Because of what I am, I was wrong when I told you I was a virgin. Before, in dreams like this..."
Michael pulled her down softly and kissed her. "Do you plan to be with any of them?"
Daria shook her head.
"Were you aware at the time?"
Daria again shook her head.
He kissed her again. "I trust you now."
"Thanks. But, I don't know how much I trust myself."
"You're still the honest and ethical woman I fell in love with. I trust you. And, I'm happy that my first time...was with you."
"I'm so sorry I wasn't..."
He pulled her a little tighter. "In your heart, you were."
Jane turned to see Daria enter the bathroom, rubbing sore muscles in her thighs. Jane spoke around the toothbrush in her mouth, "Yr 'milin'." Removing the toothbrush, she continued, "Smiling. Things go well?"
Daria relaxed a little and nodded once. "I think so. He seems to be accepting."
Jane gave Daria a lopsided grin. "And the other activities...?"
Daria blushed and leaned against the counter. "I never thought I would enjoy things so much."
Jane laughed. "Daria, you did realize that there is a reason sex is so popular?"
"And he..." She blushed deeper.
Jane rinsed her mouth and said as she exited the room, "I bet he's just as caring and gentle as every other time I've seen him with you." Jane winked at her friend as she closed the door. "Enjoy."
Daria managed to get through her time at work and both classes that day. Her mind was racing the whole time at the bizarre twist her life had taken. At the exquisite joy she felt when she was with Michael. How much trust he gave her and how little she felt she could trust herself. Despite the distraction of long self-conversations, she made through her tasks for the day, including a visit to her doctor.
Daria looked Amy directly in the eye after entering the apartment. "My gynecologist said I'm okay and no surprises are on the way. I picked up the pills on the way home. I'll be able to start them in a week and a half. However, something important was pointed out to me. You said this curse starts at puberty."
"Then, how come she noticed I was a virgin during my exam last fall?"
"What did you say?"
"She recorded I was a virgin last fall. I'm not now, but I was then. She reminded me of it during my appointment."
"But, you said you started to have dreams about sex when you were sixteen."
"I know." Daria hesitated. "This has had me very off-balance. But, I think a doctor would have noticed before. Mom always made Quinn and I get annual checkups. I know that they would have reported to her, at least when I was a minor. It would have taken microseconds for me to hear about it after that."
Amy looked worried. "This is getting even stranger. That means you have been entering the dream realm for less than a year. You should have started at puberty."
"Don't look at me. I don't have a clue of what's going on."
"Neither do I."
Over dinner, Daria asked, "Amy, I need some time to rest and think. Can you teach me how to avoid dreaming?"
"I can show you a resting exercise that works for me. But, just in case, take precautions"
Jane nudged Daria. "Feeling a bit worn out?"
Daria half-glared, half-smiled at Jane. "This really has been a lot to deal with. I need the rest."
Jane openly teased, "And you don't get any rest with him."
Daria blushed. "No...I don't."
"He's that good?"
Daria blushed harder. "He may not have been experienced, but he is well-versed on theory."
"And, I've already seen you're a sucker for his soft touch."
Daria looked a little worried. "He seems happy with me. I hope he is."
Jane leaned toward Amy. "I helped her unpack her books. I think 'well-versed on theory' applies both ways."
Jane and Amy laughed lightly. Amy patted Daria's hand. "You are allowed to be interested and curious. Plus...a little theoretical knowledge does help to avoid some awkwardness." Amy gave a wry smile to Daria. "Besides, who am I to say anything? I did the same thing at your age." She looked at Jane, "And I'm sure, so has Jane."
Jane blushed slightly. "Well...uh...they are also useful for life model study."
Daria smirked. "Not the text descriptions."
Daria lay flat on her back in bed, every muscle tightened as much as possible. Starting with her toes, she relaxed them, working up her legs, torso and out to her fingertips. She regulated her breathing and focused on rest in her mind. At a surprising level of peace, she fell asleep.
"Daria." Michael's voice brought her to dream wakefulness. She was on a bed swathed in white, in a room of pale grays with Michael reclining beside her. He leaned forward and very lightly kissed her as he slid away the sheet. He placed a hand on the naked skin over her heart. "I know you left worried last night. Please, don't. I trust you and have faith in you."
Daria smiled and stroked a hand over his cheek. "I hadn't planned...but I'm happy we're together tonight."
He very softly ran his fingertips down the side of her neck. "You have been so concerned about me, and so reassuring. It's my turn to let you know everything will be all right." Daria let out a pleased moan at the touch. After Michael whispered, "I love you," Daria completely lost track of time to his softness and gentleness.
Amy watched Daria over a cup of coffee. "The resting exercise didn't work?"
Daria shook her head. "At first, I thought it did. But, I dreamed of Michael in a white room. He told me not to worry, that he trusted me. He kissed me." Daria's eyes opened in wonder. "Amy, he came to me. I didn't go to him."
"He..." Amy's mouth fell open. "Are you absolutely positive he came to you last night?"
"Positive. I could feel it."
Amy couldn't believe what she was hearing. I told Jane it was a one in one or two billion chance. I have to be sure. "I may have an idea of what's happening. I'm going to need to use your computer again today, and call in some huge favors."
"I don't want to say anything until I'm certain. The chance is so remote as to be almost impossible, but it's looking like the only one that fits."
"You can't tell me?"
"I always hated reading Latin. At least Liz had the Aramaic translated." Amy rubbed her eyes after a long session of reading images scanned from ancient manuscripts. She looked over at a notepad covered with family trees and names. "Not a word or a sign."
She went to the refrigerator and removed a bottle of wine. "I'm going to need a little before...my next course of action." She poured a glass and sat in the living room, staring out the window. "This is going to be very tricky."
"She's my best friend, and you want me to stay away tonight?" Jane glowered at Amy.
"Remember that long shot I mentioned? It might be it, but I need to confirm."
"It will be best if only Daria and I are around."
"It is a very...delicate matter. However, if I know you, Daria can give you a call and you'll be here in minutes. No matter how many pedestrians you have to terrorize on the sidewalks driving around red lights."
"You've got that right."
Jane acquiesced with a sigh. "I'll stay with my old roommate, CC, over at BFAC. Daria has the number."
"Thanks, Jane. Thanks for trusting me."
Jane sternly looked at Amy. "Make sure it's worth it."
Amy poured two glasses of wine, setting one in front of Daria and keeping the other as she sat at the table. "You may need it. I know I do."
Daria took a sip. "Amy, what's wrong?"
Amy took a drink. "Not necessarily wrong, but very unusual."
Daria drank a little more. "So, why booze me up?"
"Michael may be an incubus."
"Our male counterpart. Only..."
"Nobody knows of him. He might be from one of the lost bloodlines."
"During the witch hunts in Europe, several bloodlines were lost. It had been speculated that some may have survived - unknowingly. The predecessor was killed early and the community knowledge of his offspring lost. Without training, they would act like a normal dreamer and not be aware of what was happening. The line would become impossible to trace. He might belong to one of them."
"Weird, but it's no weirder than me being a succubus. Why the wine?"
"There is one way to confirm if he is. I need to ask you to completely trust me."
"Amy, of course I trust you."
"Daria, this may be very hard for you. I need to contact him in the dream realm."
Daria's eyes flashed open wide.
"I have twenty-eight years of maintaining control. I can meet him and not...allow anything else to happen. But, I will only try if you say yes."
Though concerned, Daria nodded.
Amy bundled a red and blue checked flannel gown around her body. I hope I know what I'm doing. Yeah, I've had control; enough to stay celibate for the last couple years. After what happened...stop that. She looked at the drab clothing. Dressing the part helps. Keep my mind off of what could happen.
She pulled the sheet up and settled onto the pillow. This is the man your niece is in love with. Remember, use that to maintain control. Amy swallowed and shivered a bit. If he's one of the lost, I hope he's a latent, or that he will just be faithful to her. It will make this so much easier. With practiced skill, Amy willed herself to sleep.
Hunched in a chair at the table, Daria started the night watching the door to the room Amy was in. She fearfully listened for any sounds and drained the bottle of wine left on the table. Michael deserves to have you trust him as much as he trusts you. Daria smiled. Amy said that only somebody willing. I know him...he won't be willing.
A little uneasy, she threw the bottle in a recycle bin and went to her room. After crawling into bed, she found the disconcerting spin to be distracting and nauseating. "Okay, worrying about him won't keep me up, but the bed spins will. Ugh."
Daria had coffee and breakfast ready when Amy emerged the next morning, looking relieved.
"Amy? How did things go?"
Amy said, "Give me a minute, please," as she sat at the table.
Daria brought coffee and eggs over before sitting to finish her own breakfast.
After a few hits of coffee and a little to eat, Amy said, "I wasn't able to contact him last night."
"Is that good or bad?"
Amy asked, "Daria, think hard. When did the dreams truly become real?"
Daria concentrated for a long while before answering. "The dream I emailed you about. That's why I brought it up, because the reality seemed so complete."
"Daria, the night before, what were you thinking about Michael?"
"I...was thinking about how lucky we had been to avoid disaster when we broke up. If we both hadn't tried so hard to get back together, we may not have. I was writing in my diary just before bed, about how he has always been such a sweet and gentle friend and more. I was thinking about how I really felt about him, and all of my prior indecision." Daria looked up. "I finally realized I loved him."
Amy smiled at her niece. "And he had already made his feelings for you known. The legends say that two latents can awaken the power between them. Latents are those of a bloodline who ordinarily wouldn't have the curse. It must have happened once you accepted your love for him. Daria, it is extremely rare, but your love and bloodlines link you together. Your dreams will always be of him, and his of you. No others can intrude." Amy had a relieved smile. "I couldn't reach him last night. That is what I was hoping for. I could have reached a normal human or incubus. But, I couldn't reach him at all."
"You two are sealed off in the dream realm, with a rare link between each other that no others can intrude on."
That means the dream I wrote you about..."
Amy gave her niece a sweet smile. "It was the first time for both of you."
"I envy you now."
"As long as you can dream, you two will never be separated. You're not cursed; you're blessed."
Thanks to Kristen Bealer and Thea Zara for beta reading.
Revised February 2005