|Dreams Of Her Own
Author: Regann PM
When Blair dreams of Todd, it's the old one she sees. And the old one she wants.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Blair C. & Todd M. - Words: 1,196 - Reviews: 9 - Favs: 6 - Published: 04-21-11 - Status: Complete - id: 6925544
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
That secret is this: when Blair dreams of Todd, it's the old him she sees.
There have been notable exceptions, of course: when she fantasized about Walker before she knew the truth, it was Walker's face she saw and, again, when he was kidnapped by Margaret, it was that Todd who came to her in her sleep. But when she dreams hazy dreams of the past, pieces of fantasy that warm her on cold nights, it's never that new face she faces, only the original, the one she loved first and still does.
When she dreams of his hair, it's long and tangled, a veritable mane as she combs her fingers through it, a dark curtain when he leans down to kiss her. When she imagines her hands on him, she can feel every delicate twist of the scar he wears like penance on his face, a gnarled curve of tissue her fingers can't help but find when she reaches for him.
It's not just that the Todd of her mind looks differently, he acts differently, too. During their first night together, that drunken Christmas present she'd given him, Blair had been struck by the hesitance in him, especially for someone so explosive in every other way. He'd touched her with such softness - more so than any other man she'd been with before. Even the gentlemanly Cord Roberts hadn't been that polite in bed, and Blair had always remembered the contrast of it to others, accustomed as she was to men trying to dominate her during sex the way they never could the rest of the time.
That's still how he is in her dreams, that same strange combination of passion and timidity that never quite faded from their love making, not until he returned with someone else's face. More than his looks seemed to have changed with that surgery - the way he uses his body is different, the way his weight shifts and settles through his limbs. She doesn't dream of the deftness and surety of movement that Todd began to show as Walker; no, that isn't what she wants to feel and it's not what the specter she conjures brings with him.
It's always made her feel a vague sort of guilt, to dream of that Todd while lying next to the other. It actually feels like less of a betrayal when it's someone else entirely, like Sam or John or Eli. Anyone who knows her knows that Todd is an intrinsic, inescapable part of her past. But Todd's in competition with a ghost of his own making, a fight he can never win against her memories.
Cristian remarked on it once, during one of their rambling conversations at Capricorn. She still wasn't sure what had brought it on, but Todd had come up and Christian had given her a sympathetic look before speaking. "It's like you've loved three men in one," he told her.
"What do you mean?"
"You fell in love with Todd back in the beginning," he explained. "That was one. Then two, you fell in love with Walker, who you thought was someone different. But then you had to learn to love the Walker you knew who was also Todd. That's three times, one man."
"I've never thought of it like that," she admitted, looking down into her glass. "Maybe that's why he's got so much of me, even after all this time."
Cristian made sure he was looking her in the eye when he asked, "Is there one who has a bigger piece?"
Blair didn't speak it aloud, but that didn't mean she didn't know the answer. It waits for her every night she closes her eyes and sinks into that make-believe world. There, there's always gold balloons and Todd's not-quite-smile, the broad, heavy stretch of him against her, overwhelming everything else. Just like the rest of her life, Todd's influence is writ large across her dreams, indelible and long-lasting.
But it wasn't until Eli that anyone had ever mentioned it.
One night, early enough in their relationship that it still felt new, she'd woke up to find Eli looking down at her, his face carefully neutral.
"Are you all right?" he asked.
She nodded, still drowsy, still confused by the cobwebs clinging to her mind. "Why?"
"You were mumbling," he explained. A pause. "You said a name."
There was a huff of laughter. "I guess I don't have to tell you it wasn't mine."
Blair closed her eyes, flashes of the dream still fresh in the darkness there, an ache so deep and a yearning so strong it brought the sting of tears to her eyes. "No, you don't."
"Some things never change."
"No, they don't."
And now months after Eli is a bad memory and there's another mysterious man lurking in the corners of her life, Blair still dreams of the same man she married in her grandmother's dress, a man who loved and hated with equal measure, so fiercely the lines often blurred between them. She loves this phantom with a desperation born of the echoes of his first death and holds to the memory of her last glimpse of that beloved face, its scar an angry slash to distract her from the hurt she'd put in his dark eyes when she asked him to leave her and their children for good.
Those aches for him never went away, even when Walker Laurence appeared.
It doesn't go away now as she's drawn into alertness by a steady tapping on her shoulder, looking up only to see Todd - handsome, scar-less, smirking - watching her as she starts awake. She glances around and realizes she's fallen asleep on the sofa, work strewn all around.
"What are you doing here?" she asks.
"Came by to pick up some stuff for Sam." He shrugs, then his smirk widens. "You're all red in the face there, Blair. Sweet, uh, dreams?"
"You could say that," she answers, glaring. "What do you want?"
He's still grinning, a sure sign he plans to say something he shouldn't. "Were they about me?"
A mouth that frowned more than smiled, dark eyes a little disbelieving, a little awed; Calloused hands that trembled every so slightly, and strength that held to her like she was the only thing on the earth that mattered.
Blair looks up into his face - handsome, unmarred, satisfied with itself and the world at large - and she shakes her head, answering honestly when she says, "No, they weren't."