For Stephanie, her dream began with a repeating thought, strong and gentle.
She was floating on her back against a solid warmth. Strong and gentle. The air flowing over her was cool. She was on a wave being lifted and lowered. The wave became a cloud and she burried her head in its softness.
She was surprised when she felt a flower petal land on her forehead. The world must have turned upside down because she was on a cloud and flowers didn't grow in the sky. She looked around and saw Sportacus' airship. The door was open and flower petals were shooting out by the bucketful. The airship was circling the cloud she was on. She had to have the flower petals, but the airship stayed just beyond her reach! It was frustrating!
She watched the flower petals float past until her cloud started to become too warm. She struggled to kick at the fluffiness to free her legs. She could feel the cool air tickle her toes to her knees.
She reached out for the flower petals, again. She wanted them to cover her. She wanted to breathe their scent They were floating down and covering Lazy Town, it seemed she couldn't reach them but everyone else could!
She could hear Stingy yelling, "They're miiiine!" She could see Trixie getting ready to clobber Stingy. Stephanie had to stop them. Robbie Rotten joined in the fight for the flower petals. He was chasing Stingy.
Stephanie heard sniffling and sobbing coming from the clubhouse. She knew instinctively it was Ziggy. Ziggy was sitting under the picture he had painted, but now there was no sun over his land of candy.
"I'm sorry, Stephanie. I told your secret."
"Who did you tell it to?"
Stephanie raced out of the clubhouse. It had become night. Robbie was nowhere to be seen, but in his place, the dinosaur had returned. It was chasing Stingy! Stephanie choked back a scream. The dinosaur blended well into the dark of night. Except for its eyes. The color of molten gold, the eyes seemed to be looking everywhere from high above the rooftops.
Stephanie ran to get Sportacus but stumbled and fell. When she looked up, Stingy was gone. Instead, her superhero was being attacked by the dinosaur. She could hear the monster bellowing at Sportacus, it almost sounded like words.
"I WANT YOU GONE!"
It picked up Sportacus and shook him like a dog with a doll. Stephanie stared in horror. If the dinosaur won and destroyed Sportacus, there would be nothing left of Lazy Town, no reason to stay! Stephanie was terrified, but she had to at least try and save Sportacus. She grabbed a baseball bat and crept up behind the dinosaur. She raised the bat to swing, and suddenly the dinosaur dropped Sportacus. It turned and glared at Stephanie with fire in its eyes, then it was gone.
Sportacus lay still on his side. She crawled to him and lay her head on his chest, praying she would hear a heartbeat or feel him breathe. With relief, she felt both. She was exhausted. She wanted to cry. In the end she just stayed where she was in an attempt to keep him warm and safe. Slowly, as sleep overcame her, she relaxed. "That dinosaur will have to go through me to get you." She knew he heard her. He wrapped an arm around her waist. She felt the corded muscles in his arm ripple at the movement, and she did feel safe.
Stephanie had gotten warm under her covers and kicked them off. If Sportacus hadn't been sleeping so soundly on the sofa, he might have heard Stephanie make a choking sound. He might have heard her crawl down the hall to the sofa.
As it was, it barely registered in his mind when she climbed up on the sofa and laid her head on his chest. He knew he had gotten chilly and now was warmer. He could feel a hand alternately patting and making small circles on his shoulder, and he thought it felt good. It was comforting.
Sportacus pried his eyes open and found Stephanie clutching him to her. He was surprised to see her, but had gone to bed so late, he was almost to tired to care.
Sportacus heard Stephanie mumble something as she clutched at him again. He caught the word dinosaur, and figured she must have been sleepwalking while dreaming. He wished he could save her from dreams, but even a superhero can't quite manage that.
Sportacus brushed her hair away from her face and planted a firm kiss on the top of her head, then picked up one of her hands. He laced his fingers through hers and gave it a squeeze.
Sportacus wrapped a massive arm around Stephanie to protect her from whatever might appear in both their dreams.
For the remainder of the night, they slept peacefully.