Title: Dreaming and Hoping

Author: Jeanine

Fandom: Boomtown

Pairing: Joel/Teresa

Rating: PG

Disclaimer: NBC owns everything.

Notes: For the LiveJournal Writer's Choice "Hopes, Dreams, Desires" challenge


Joel dreams sometimes, and when he does, he dreams of things that can never be.

Used to be that he would dream about his wife and his boy and his baby girl, and all that could have been between them. Him and Kelly, laughing and happy, watching Willie play ball, with Kelly bouncing Emma on her knee. Emma would be happy and healthy, babbling her baby talk, pulling her mother's hair, her own blonde hair sticking up in little pale tufts. She would be older than she was that morning that they found her, pale and lifeless in her crib, and in his dream, for he always knew that it was a dream, he would wish that he would never wake up.

Those dreams have stopped now, and so have the others ones, the ones where Kelly blamed him for Emma's death, the ones where he didn't come home early, where he walked into the bathroom to find a pale, lifeless Kelly in a sea of red.

He is doing better now, Kelly is doing better now, and those dreams are a thing of the past.

But when he dreams now, he doesn't dream of his wife.

Instead of blue eyes, he dreams of brown; instead of blonde hair, brunette. Sometimes, he dreams of things that have happened, like a conversation between them as they watched Willie and Fearless kidding around on the baseball diamond, where he called her a beautiful woman, and as good as told her that he had feelings for her. Other times, the things they are doing are normal, every day things, talking in the street, getting coffee together, and those dreams are harmless, even if he knows their deeper meaning is not.

Sometimes though, he dreams of things that have never happened. He dreams of the two of them enjoying a lazy morning in bed together, cups of coffee in hand, sharing out the newspaper, reading bits of interest to one another. It is an easy scenario, one that he can imagine happening with her, one that he can remember happening more than once with Kelly back in the day, and he doesn't know what that means, if it means anything at all.

Sometimes, his dreams aren't so innocent. He dreams of the two of them, talking about something completely mundane, until, that is, their lips meet and they are kissing. He kisses her hungrily, frantically, and she responds in just the same manner, but the dreams never end there, never end at kissing.

Those dreams are coming more and more frequently now, and it's getting harder to hide the effect they have on him when he is awake. There are times when he can hardly look her in the eye, in case she sees the desire in his, times when he can't stand to be around her, because he's afraid that he's going to grab her and make good on his desires.

There are times when he looks at her when he is awake, and he thinks he sees the same desire in her eyes that lurks in his dreams, and he doesn't know if that excites him or scares him.

The one thing he does know is that he hopes his wife never finds out.