If This is a Dream
A Cristian and Evangeline one shot. The ending is purposefully ambiguous. You decide if it happened or not.
Her heels click, click loudly against the hard linoleum as she passes the nurse's station and walks right into the room. She's been there so many times that they no longer ask her to sign her name on their records. They recognize her by sight now as she comes there almost every night like clockwork. They no doubt think she shouldn't even bother, but she can't stay away. She can't stop hoping for some kind of miracle that will bring him back to her. She's a realist and knows it probably won't happen, but she is quite determined and can't give up on him like most everyone else seemed to have done.
Tonight is special anyway. It's the anniversary of the day years ago he first leaned over and captured her lips in a kiss. The first time she truly knew and understood what silly sentimental fools meant by the expression "falling heads over heels in love". She had fallen for him in that moment and never stopped falling. She had just always expected he would be there to catch her before she hit rock bottom. She had been wrong, but she wasn't walking away now.
She walks over to his bed and sits down beside it, immediately reaching for his calloused fingers, wrapping her much smaller digits around his. "Hey, I'm here. Again. As if you could keep me away, right?" she muses aloud as she leans down and kisses his cheek this time. His skin is smooth and soft because she knows his mother shaves his stubble often. Carlotta never could stand to have her sons' looking scruffy.
She begins talking to him like she always does. Filling him in on all the events of the day. She shares her courtroom victories with him too and tells him what his family and friends are all doing. She talks a lot because the silence is so deafening otherwise.
Finally, she talks to him about their first kiss. "God, Cristian, you kissed me like I never dreamt of being kissed previously. I felt it in my soul, as silly as that sounds. You made a home in my heart and I had told myself I was never going to be that vulnerable for anyone. But here I am, still coming back for more because letting you go is just not an option. I have tried. God knows it would be good for me, or so everyone keeps saying. But I want my heart wants - you back in my life. I want the whole package - a big wedding, and two-point-five kids with your eyes and artistic talents, a white picket fence. The whole deal. You promised me we would have those things and I'm still holding you to it, okay? So open those eyes, Cristian Vega, and make both of our dreams come true."
Still, no movement. Not so much as a flicker of his eyelashes. "Dammit, Cristian, come on," she says. "I love you. I want you awake. I want you in my life. But I would be willing to walk away from you if that's what you wanted. But you're asleep and you won't wake up so you can't tell me what you want, now can you?"
Bitter tears work their way down her mocha skin. She never cries anymore, but tonight she just can't help but give into the emotions. She misses all the things she might never have with Cristian. She wants to shake him awake so badly, but she doesn't. She knows she can't.
"Okay, Cris, so you want to play hardball? Then I will too. I was proposed to yesterday. Yes, a marriage proposal from someone you hate. Someone you simply loathe. He promised me a lot of things but mostly he said he wasn't going to slip away from me the way you have. That man was Todd Manning. He wants to marry me. He wants to give me the things I don't have like a family and somewhere to belong. Things you were supposed to give me. If you don't wake up, I might consider accepting his proposal. No, you know what? I definitely will. Just to teach you a lesson that you can't leave the woman you said you loved hanging for years and years ... So wake up, Cristian, and say you want me in your life or I'm going to marry Todd Manning. Yes, Todd Manning..."
She can't believe how far she's fallen. To stoop so low as to bribe a comatose man to wake up by saying she will marry one of his biggest enemies. But she is desperate now. And desperation is a feeling she never learned to tolerate.
She wipes away her tears and stands, leaning over and kissing his smooth cheek. "Okay, Cris, I'm leaving. If you don't stop me right now, I'll go to Todd and tell him I'll be his wife. I'm not kidding. Wake up, you hear, or - or I'll do it. I promise I will. I don't break my promises either."
She walks towards the door and pauses in the doorway. "Okay, I'm stepping through it right now so ..."
No response, no movement. No sign he's still there. "Okay, I guess I'm marrying Todd Manning after all," she says and starts through the door.
"You are not marrying Todd," she hears as she is about to walk away. She freezes in her tracks, afraid if she turns around, she will see him, same as ever, frozen in sleep. It will mean she's gone completely crazy; that she misses Cristian so much that she hears him talk.
"Did you hear me, Van? You're not marrying Manning," he says again.
This time she whips around and stares back into the room. He's staring up at her with those heartbreakingly beautiful brown eyes. A small smile is turning up the corners of his lips.
"I'm crazy. I'm definitely insane. You're in a coma. I am obviously wishful thinking here ..."
"You're not wishful thinking, Van," he says.
"No, I am. I am insane to even be having this conversation. You're in a coma! You have been that way for years and years now. You aren't just going to wake up just because I forced your hand ..." She pinches her arm and hard too. "Ouch!"
"Come over here, Evangeline," he says softly. "Touch me; listen to me. I'm real here. You are not imagining this."
She takes a deep breath and moves over to the bed. She looks into his eyes and sees tears there. She reaches out very hesitantly and touches his hand. His pinkie responds by wrapping itself around her own fingers.
"You're awake. Ohmigod," she says. "I can't believe this. All the time I wished it would happen and I was giving up hope. I really was ... I ... don't know what to say... Except that I should get you a doctor."
"It can wait a few minutes, Van," he says. "Just tell me how I ended up here."
"You were in a car accident, Cris. Everyone says you weren't going to wake up, but Carlotta believed you would, and so did I. I kept coming around though I was really losing hope. That's why I threatened you with marrying Todd ..." She looks over at him. "Seriously? You only woke up because you didn't want Todd to have me. That's really ... I don't even know what to say to that..."
"No, Van. It's not that simple. I could feel your desperation. I could feel how much you needed me, and I could hear what you were saying. About the first time we kissed. How magical that was. And I realized I had to fight like hell to come back so we could finally have everything you and I both wanted. I guess the thought of you never coming back scared me enough to wake up."
Tears are running down her cheeks. "If I would have known that would work, I would have acted desperate a long time ago."
"That's not you though, Evangeline. You're strong; you're brave... you're amazing. And I want you to be mine again. This time, forever."
She nods and kisses his hand. "How can I say no to that, Cristian? We belong together."
"And now we will be, Van, now we will be," he says as she leans over and captures his lips in a kiss for the first time in forever.
He sits bolt upright in bed. Sweat is pouring down his face. He looks over at the empty space beside him in bed. It was a dream. It was a freaking dream! Evangeline was gone and gone forever. They had pulled the plug on her just mere months ago. She had been the one in a coma. Layla had left him because she realized that she wasn't Evangeline; that she was never going to be the one dwelling always in his heart.
Tears film his eyes and run over as he throws back the covers and stalks over to the window, staring out it. He was alone and his Evangeline was gone.
Just then he feels arms slide around his bare waist. He freezes as he recognizes them. He had felt them every night in his dreams.
He whips around in her arms, stares at her. Takes in the sight of her full lips, her perfect skin, and her eyes dancing with life. "You're ... you're ..." He can't say it.
"I was checking on the twins," she says. "Is everything okay? You don't look very well..."
"The twins?" He swallows. "What twins?"
"Our twins. Our babies," she says. She reaches up and touches his forehead. "You don't feel warm."
"But you do, Van, you feel so warm and real..."
"I am, Cris," she says. "Seriously, now you're just worrying me. What's going on?"
"You were hurt, Van. You were in a coma. Layla and I had to... pull the plug ..."
"Okay, obviously you had a bad dream, Cristian," Evangeline says. "I'm here, and I've never left or been in a coma. We've been together for years and we have two baby girls to prove it."
"Can I see them?" Cristian asked.
"Yeah, of course." She takes his hand and it feels so warm and real in his as they walk through a house he doesn't recognize, stopping outside a door. She slowly pushes it back and Cristian can't help but gasp. There are two beautiful light-skinned baby girls in matching cribs just inside the room.
"Do you believe me now, Cristian?" Evangeline asked.
"I want to..."
"Cristian, we are together. We're happy. At least, I think so. We have our baby girls. It's not a dream."
Cristian leans over and kisses Evangeline then, pressing his lips to hers. She feels so real. When he pulls away all he can say is, "If this is a dream, please don't ever let me wake up."