Title: Perchance to Dream
Author: Niamh St. George
Summary: A Kana vignette. One-shot.
Disclaimer: The lovely, wonderful Fruits Basket characters and universe do NOT belong to me. They in fact belong to Natsuki Takaya. Hopefully no one minds me playing with them for a little while.
A/N: This is a short piece, more or less unbeta'd, that wouldn't leave me alone. Thanks to Everstar for always being around for a chat, even when there are other things she SHOULD be doing. wink Who loves, ya, babe?

Perchance to Dream
By Niamh St. George

I have strange dreams.

I've had them for a while, actually. Most of the time, when people say they're having strange dreams, they mean nightmares. Typically, recurring dreams are a source of stress for a person. That... isn't really the case for me.

My dreams aren't nightmares, per se. They're not... disturbing or frightening, most of the time. In fact, most of the time, I'd rather not wake up at all. Most of the time I dream about being in love -- desperately, completely, and wholly in love. A lifetime of happiness, compressed into a single moment. Not a problem, right? A married woman should dream about being in love. There's only one problem.

The man in my dreams is not my husband. It's my boss. Ex-boss, if you want to get technical.

Sounds odd, neh? Well, it wouldn't sound odd if you'd ever met my former boss, but that's another story.

I don't understand it, and I can't pretend to understand it. I love my husband -- I do. And yet, at least once a week, sometimes twice, sometimes more, I dream about Dr. Sohma Hatori. I dream I love him.

Of course, I loved him. Working for him was agony, most of the time. That's the bitterness of one-sided love, I guess. So, no, it's probably not any surprise that I dream about a man I was once infatuated with.

The thing about these dreams is that in them, he loves me.

It's strange -- I'd known about the doctor even before I met him. My friends had warned me that he was handsome, but they'd all said that he was cold, aloof... distant. Oddly, he never struck me that way. In fact, he seemed to me to be the consummate professional. Yes, he was private, but that's not a crime, is it?

But, anyway -- in my dreams... in my dreams, he's nothing at all like how I remember him. In those dreams, he gazes down at me with eyes as green as a stormy sea, and he smiles. His thumb grazes my lips as he watches me intently. His fingertips stroke my cheek before wandering into my hair, pulling me toward him for a long, slow, leisurely kiss. His touches are a lover's caress -- I'm not about to deny that. He catches my hands in his -- his fingers are soft and warm, a doctor's fingers -- and he kisses me. Over and over again -- and they're never the same. Soft and slow, hungry and probing -- his lips brush my mouth, cheeks, eyelids, neck...

In my dreams, he loves me. He loves me with a passion I've yet to comprehend.

Even though, when I'm asleep, I seem to understand it all.

When I wake from these dreams, the emotions that swarm my mind are dizzying. I'm at once saddened and melancholy, as if something rare and precious has slipped through my grasp like sand or water. Some mornings, I weep. My heart aches, my throat tightens, and love, esteem, affection all swell my heart to such an extent that I can barely speak.

And then, then I turn and see my husband sleeping peacefully alongside me, blissfully ignorant of the fact that another man's hands have been caressing me -- another man's arms holding me. And strangely, the sadness and that love that's been building inside of me do not dissipate when I see my husband. Even then, my thoughts are of Hatori-san. No. No -- Hatori-sensei.

But guilt, bitter and sharp, follows quickly. It always does.

I should not have these thoughts; I shouldn't feel this way.

But... I do.

I've tried to ignore it, I've tried so hard to push Hatori-sensei from my mind. But the images are so vivid, the emotions so clear -- they lack the incoherence that so frequently accompanies dreams.

They feel less like dreams and more like memories, as ludicrous as that sounds.

I can feel his hands, his mouth, the moist heat of his breath in soft puffs against my cheek as we kiss. I know his taste -- even in my waking moments, I know Dr. Sohma Hatori's taste, how his tongue feels sliding across the roof of my mouth. Somehow I know that there is a spot on the side of his neck, just beneath his ear, that is particularly sensitive -- he's ticklish, right there. I know what he sounds like when he says my name, his voice resonating with nothing but affection.

I haven't told anyone about them. I haven't, and I won't. Putting such thoughts and emotions into words, telling someone... it would only cheapen what I feel. Either that, or I'd end up opening my dreams to interpretation -- I can't bring myself to do that. The idea of having someone dissect these visions, the feelings I've been experiencing... I know what they are -- in my soul, I know. I can never say, because it's simply too crazy to consider. They feel like memories, but they can't be. If they were memories... well, I'd remember.

My dreams of the doctor are the most frequent, but then... then there are the other dreams. Visions of blood and the sound of breaking glass. Dreams of pain, apology, and self-blame. Shouting, swearing... hate. These dreams ache and fester, like a wound untended, left to infection. After these dreams too, I weep.

And yet, underneath the ache of those horrible images, there remains, like an anchor, Hatori's love for me.

Sometimes I imagine myself asking him about it. I doubt he'd respond, and even if he did, he would probably be... well, cold, aloof, and distant. Wouldn't you be, if your former assistant confided in you that she'd been having vivid dreams about you?

No, I couldn't do that to him.

But... there is something I might ask him about. Someday.