Disclaimer: I own nothing. It all belongs to BVE or Saban or someone along those lines. No infringement is intended.
Author's Note: This is a one-shot piece I've had niggling at the back of my mind for a while. It takes place during 'Reinforcements from the Future Part Two' and some of the dialogue is verbatim from the show. It is rated PG-13 for some adult themes and references. The title and some of the song lyrics in the text come from 'Dream Of Me' performed by Kirsten Dunst in 'Get Over It' and 'People Will Say We're In Love' from Rodgers and Hammerstein's 'Oklahoma!' With that, enjoy! (Or not-- it's up to you.) Reviews are always appreciated.
PERCHANCE TO DREAM
By Etcetera Kit
To sleep, perchance to dream, so I can see the face I long to touch.
The fire cracked merrily in the background. The night air was cool and pleasant, intertwined with the singing of crickets and the rustle of the leaves as the breeze came past. It leant itself to memories of camping trips with friends during his years in the military. The peacefulness of the scene was something he cherished, something he had not had since that morning, before he pulled her over and gave her a ticket. Everything came back to her. He wanted to hate her, wanted to hate her with every iota of being in his body. But he couldn't.
Every time his thoughts roamed to her—and it seemed like that was the only place they had been all day—he found himself drawn to her. He wanted to run his fingers through that silky blonde hair of hers, caress that pale, milky skin and bring out that mischievously wicked little smile that she had. He hated to admit, even to himself, that he had a weakness for blondes. And yet every word exchanged between the two of them that day had been hostile. He couldn't help it. She always seemed to say things that required a scathing comment in return. She made his blood burn, but in what way, he couldn't be sure.
People will say we're in love…
Love… He banished the thought as quickly as it came. He was Eric Myers and Eric Myers did not fall in love. Love was a silly emotion that was overrated. Over the years, he had come to believe that love did not exist. The love that everyone talked about and wanted to find was nothing more than an ideal. It was nothing. He had settled down with the idea long ago and would have been content to find a woman who he respected to share his life with. The only problem was that most of his relationships were over before they started.
His thoughts were interrupted by the very subject of them. Taylor Earhardt was standing beside the stone ledge he was sitting on. Her hands were clasped behind her back and her face was guarded, yet friendly. Her blue eyes were studying him and what he was doing. He had been absently cleaning his Quantum Defender.
"Yup," he replied, his tone softer than it had been all day.
"Can I see that?" she asked, indicating the Quantum Defender.
It was a peace offer. He knew that. He also was wary of letting other people touch his weapons, but what could it hurt? "Yeah, sure," he said, acquiescence in his voice.
She sat down next to him, making sure to leave a respectable distance. Her eyes remained fixed on the Quantum Defender, not roaming anywhere else. He suppressed a smile, realizing that the desire to eye each other up was mutual.
"Now this isn't your standard issue Silver Guardians' weapon here," he explained. He turned the small weapon over so he could hand it to her safely. "This is a one-of-a-kind, the Quantum Defender."
He handed her the weapon. She took it, studying it closely. After aiming it for a moment, she turned it over to its side to look at the potential power chambers. Without thinking, he closed this distance between them, their thighs touching.
"Hey, hey, now that's not a toy you know." Before the words even left his mouth, he knew how ridiculous they sounded. Of course, she already knew that.
"Hey, I was in the Air Force," she retorted. "I could probably teach you a thing or two about this."
For the first time that day, he smiled. It wasn't forced or required. It just drifted naturally over his face. He didn't know why he was attracted to this woman. She drove him crazy. They were entirely too much alike. And still… He was suddenly all too aware of the close proximity she was in, of their touching bodies. She was close enough to kiss. Her mouth inclined towards him. He leaned closer to her.
And then there was a stifled snicker.
He swung around, furious, and saw Wes quickly trying to turn his snicker into a cough. He had temporarily forgotten that Wes and Jen had been sitting by the fire, close enough to hear their entire exchange and witness anything that went on. Not to mention all the people asleep on cots who could open their eyes and see everything.
"Sorry," Wes said, not really looking sorry. Jen smacked him.
Eric rolled his eyes. Taylor's face was neutral, but he could see disappointment behind those sapphire eyes. She handed him the Quantum Defender.
"Good night, Eric," she said softly, standing up and taking off in the direction she had come from.
"Night," he replied to her retreating back.
Damn. Why did he either have no luck with women or moments that were perfect for advancing or establishing a relationship were ruined? Stupid spoiled rich brat… He put the Quantum Defender away and started towards his sleeping quarters for the night.
They were by a pool in a remote spot of the Animarium. She could see his face in the pale silver moonlight. He was smiling, dark almond-shaped eyes full of an emotion that she knew all too well. It had been hiding there, smoldering all day. Now it was out in full force and she loved the consequences of it. His black hair spilled over his forehead, accentuating the moment, what was happening. Her hands reached out and tugged on the hem of his shirt. His smile grew wider and he pulled the garment over his head, depositing it somewhere in the darkness.
She reached out to his now-bare chest. Smooth, soft skin was over hard muscles. His chest was developed without being overdeveloped. She ran her hands down his pecs to his abs, fingers stopping at the waistband of his pants.
He ran one arm underneath her back and lifted her, his other hand grasping the bottom of the large t-shirt she slept in. In a moment, he stripped it off her. She was lying underneath him in nothing but her underwear. And she liked it… she wanted him… He leaned over her, smiling. His lips came closer…
Gasping in her sleep, Taylor jerked herself awake. Oh no… she was not having erotic dreams about him in addition to everything else she felt. He hadn't even kissed her yet! They had known each other less than twenty-four hours and she was ready to throw herself in bed with him without a second thought. This was bad.
Her eyes glanced over to the small clock on her bedside. It was three o'clock in the morning. Great. She couldn't even fathom why she was attracted to him. Things would be so much easier if she could make herself hate him, loath him. But then she would get a glimpse of that gorgeous face and body, her knees would feel weak and she would forget just about every thought she had about castrating him. Besides, it would be a waste to castrate someone that unbelievably beautiful. If there was some way she could make him her pleasure slave, then she would do it.
But was there anything else that she liked about him, besides the obvious fact that he was physically attractive? Yes. He fought back. Most men were afraid of her. She was too self-confident and self-assured. She knew what she wanted and didn't care who she ran over or intimidated to get it. Most of the time, she could get rid of people she didn't like by turning on the sarcasm and the attitude. That scared them away. But it didn't scare him away. He just responded with his own sarcasm and attitude. They were evenly matched in that area and neither of them was going to gain anything continuing on that route.
Beyond that, he seemed to know what he was doing, both as a ranger and as a Silver Guardian. He obviously cared about his work. To her, that meant he was dedicated and, to a lesser degree, loyal. He stuck with things and didn't give up. Maybe she was presuming too much. In all reality, she really didn't know him.
Taylor bolted upright in bed and stared at the figure leaning casually against the doorframe to her room in the temple. He was here! He was standing in her bedroom and she was wearing nothing but her oversized t-shirt and underwear. Oh God! In the moonlight, she could see a smile crack his face at her slightly distressed state.
"How did you know?" Great. Ask stupid questions.
His smile grew wider. "You're awake."
"No, I mean how did you know I was awake?" She paused and then realized that he had no business knowing where her room in the temple was. "How did you get here?"
He tapped his nose with his index finger. "Like Toucan Sam, I followed my nose."
"You have a very unique scent."
She gaped at him for a moment, her jaws trying to work out a scathing reply. It didn't work and she probably just looked like a fish out of water. "Is that a compliment?" she finally said softly, not trusting her voice to be any louder.
"Very much so." His voice was low and seductive. He pushed himself away from the doorframe using his shoulder and crossed the room to her bed. He was so close, she could smell his aftershave and something else that was uniquely Eric. Then he sat on the edge of her bed, his hand resting idly on her knee. Granted, she was mostly covered with her blanket, but still… She noticed that he had lost most of the gear that was a part of his uniform. He was in the navy blue t-shirt and pants, his feet bare. The moonlight showed off his finely muscled arms.
He leaned closer to her, his hands going around her waist and pulling her towards him, blanket and all. "You smell like wildflowers," he whispered.
Her breath caught in her throat. "You spend a lot of time around wildflowers?" She tried to make the question calm and cool, with that scathing quality underneath, but failed. Instead, her voice shook and came out no louder than a whisper.
"Less than I would like."
His eyes were studying her and she suddenly felt naked. She tried to cover herself more securely with her blanket and push him away, but he was stronger and… she really didn't want him to push her away. He leaned in further and planted a kiss on her temple. It was sweet and innocent, asking a question. She answered him by pulling him closer so that their bodies were fully touching and pressing her lips to his. One of his arms was around her waist, holding her close and the other was cradling her face, stroking her cheek. There was pure energy in that kiss as his tongue probed her sealed lips, causing her to part them. His tongue was velvet and soft as it rolled over the curves and plains of her mouth.
They parted for breath and she leaned in again, this time taking possession of his mouth. He tasted good. Like his scent, there was something there that was uniquely Eric. There were the remnants of mint and coffee… but it was intoxicating. The kiss ended softly. He remained close, his forehead pressed to hers, his breath warm on her face. His thumb was absently stroking her cheek.
"Eric," she said, her voice truly shaking. "We can't do this."
He looked down at the front of her t-shirt. "Would that be why your nipples are hard?" he asked, a trace of the old sarcasm coming back.
She made a strangled noise in the back of her throat, while glancing down at the front of his pants. There was a prominent bulge. "Uh…"
"Well?" he asked, raising an eyebrow and smiling a seductive, evil smile.
"Will you be here when I wake up?" she asked, her voice almost inaudible and sounding extremely small and timid.
"What makes you think I wouldn't?" he countered.
She drew in a shaky breath. "All my experiences like this have ended with me waking up in the morning and the guy nowhere to be seen."
He gently kissed her cheek. "Taylor," he said softly. "I will be here when you wake up."
The sun was shining brightly. Just like the moonlight that had filled the room last night, well, earlier that morning, he couldn't really fathom where it was coming from. It was like the temple had no roof to let in the light, but kept out the elements. For the first time in a long time, he felt content and perfectly happy. Eric glanced down at the sleeping form that was using him as a pillow. The bed was small—a twin—so they had to remain close if they didn't want to fall out of the bed. Her hair was wonderfully mussed and was concentrated with her wildflower scent. Her silky skin against his… it felt right. He felt whole again.
She shifted against him and opened her eyes. A happy smile floated over her fact. "You stayed," she said softly.
"Did you think I wasn't going to?"
"Quite frankly, yes."
He smiled. "That is where I am different, my dear."
She returned the smile and snuggled up against him. He just wrapped his arms around her, holding her close. The moment could last forever as far as he was concerned. They lay there in a comfortable silence, nothing needed to fill it, listening to the even breathing of one another and inhaling her scent. The following his nose bit from last night had not been entirely accurate. He had a pretty erotic dream about her and decided to find her to see if she was in the same boat or not. As luck would have it, she obviously had just woken up from a dream and her reaction to him confirmed that he had been in it.
"Eric," she asked softly. "How can we make this work?"
He kissed the top of her head. "We'll think of a way."
She tensed up at the sound of the voices. Eric frowned. That sounded a lot like a search party was being sent after them. He glanced at the clock on her nightstand. It wasn't that late—what was the big emergency?
"Did you lock the door?" she asked urgently.
She groaned, burying her face in his chest. "Just what I wanted, Max gossiping."
"He's not going to gossip," Eric replied. "Or I'll break all his fingers."
"Can you do that?" She sounded interested.
"It's not that hard." He paused. "Got a pencil?"
She reached over to the drawer in the nightstand and rummaged through it for a moment, before coming up with a normal yellow pencil. He took it from her just as Max, the fish boy himself, burst through the door.
"Taylor? Are you…" he trailed off at the sight of them in bed together, obviously naked under the blanket. "I-er… wow…"
"Max?" Eric said in a deceptively low and even tone. "Tell anyone what you've seen here and this is what I will do to you." He broke the pencil in half with his thumb. Max gulped audibly and fled from the room, slamming the door behind him.
Taylor was laughing. "You'll have to do that more often."
He shrugged. "It's from a movie."
"I guess we need to get dressed if everyone is looking for us."
He nodded slightly in agreement and began to search for his abandoned clothing from the previous night. Taylor pulled on her nightshirt and got up, going to her dresser to look for some clothing. He sighed. Why must all good things come to an end?
The day was nice, so that it seemed like nature was celebrating their victory over the mutorgs as well as them. It had been Princess Shayla's idea to have the picnic. After all the food had been devoured, most everyone had split up and gone their separate ways around the Animarium. She had gone to her rooms in the temple and found a book, coming to a remote spot she knew of. She needed to think. So much had happened since yesterday morning.
The book was open, but she wasn't reading it. What did she feel for him? Initially, it had been anger, suspicion. She had wanted to dislike him so much. Then, the peace offering last night when she had asked about his laser gun. And, finally, the climax of the twenty-four hours of love-hate that had happened in the wee hours that morning. Could they have a relationship, a life together without skinning each other alive? It didn't seem possible. And yet… just the mere fact that he had threatened Max for her and that he had been there when she woke up made her believe that it could work. They could make it work and not allow each other to screw things up. Her eyes scanned the page of the book, not comprehending a word of it.
Her dreams about love and men had been crushed when she was so young. Most of the men she had been with left after they got what they wanted—sex. They had one foot out the door before the relationship even started. Maybe love did exist… but it didn't exist for her. What could Eric Myers offer her that the others couldn't?
She felt his presence before she saw him.
"Is that any good?" It was strange seeing Eric in civilian clothing, because for the past twenty-four hours she had only seen him in his Silver Guardians' uniform or parts of it. He indicated the book that she wasn't really reading.
"Its fine," she replied, looking up at him from the bench she was sitting on.
"Fine?" He looked skeptical. Could he see she hadn't been reading?
"Yeah," she retorted, a little too quickly.
"What is it?" Eric rounded the bench and looked over her shoulder at the book. Almost on instinct, she closed the book, trying to hide it from him.
"Well, it looks like something to me."
"Just a book," she said, trying to sound nonchalant.
"Just a book?" He didn't sound like he believed her.
"Yeah, it's just a book." While leaning over her shoulder, he poked her in the sides, not hard, but enough to startle her. Once she was off guard, trying to fend off another attack, he grabbed the book from her. He stepped away, expertly, the book out of reach. She stood up, trying to look indignant. "Give me that!" She grabbed for the book, but he ducked it.
"Oh, I've read this before!" he said with a grin as took off across the Animarium. Taylor opened her mouth to say something, but forgot what it was as she took off after him.
She didn't know how long they had been running across the Animarium, but once they were in an open field of tall grass, he slowed down and let her catch him. And catch him she did. She tackled him around the waist and they both went sprawling into the grass. He was laughing as she grabbed the book.
"What's so funny?" she asked indignantly.
"You," he replied, drawing in a deep breath even though he wasn't even winded from their chase only seconds before.
She glared at him. He didn't reply, just pulled her close to him and responded to her apparent anger with a kiss. She tried to tense at first and push him away, but the fact remained that he was a very good kisser and his kisses made her feel like agreeing to anything.
"I hate it when you do that," she growled when he broke the kiss.
He gave her a mild look. "Sounds like we're married."
She rolled her eyes. Of all the times he picked to start on the sarcasm again, it had to be now. "No…" she trailed off, thinking of the best way to phrase what she had been feeling. "What kind of relationship could we have?"
He looked thoughtful for a moment, his hand still resting idly on her waist. "I'm not good at the whole boyfriend-girlfriend thing."
A smile cracked his lips. "So how about this—we have dinner every so often and if we happen to have sex afterwards, that's fine."
She returned his smile. That proposition was one of the best she had had in a long time and it suited both of them. She would be happy to talk to him every so often and the sex… well, that was definitely a bonus. And then they could see if anything else came about.
She stuck out her hand. "It's a deal."
He suppressed a laugh. "All right." He shook her hand.
"So what can we do this afternoon?" she asked, giving him a seductive look.
He glanced up over the tall grass. "Well, it looks like Jungle Boy and Wes are having a foot race with their girlfriends." He paused and looked at her. "Perhaps we could find some place more private?"
"I know just the place."
She stood up and offered him her hand. He took it and she led them to a remote spot in the Animarium that would be perfect for their… activities. She smiled.
They tell me love is just a dream away…Love… Were they really in love?