Title: Snowed In

Rating: I'm going to go with FRT.

Disclaimer: ER and its affiliated characters do not belong to me. I only use them as a means to de-stress myself.

Summary: Ray and Neela find themselves snowed in together and find that they both have feelings for each other that they're afraid to share.

Note: This story does not fit into the timeline of ER at all. I basically pretended that the last season and a half never happened and that Ray and Neela are happily living together.

Chapter 1

He ran his hand through her hair, his knuckles grazing the side of her face. Her head began to spin and her face became flushed a deep crimson red. He put his hands on her waist, pulling her towards him. She felt the heat of his fingertips on her hip through the thin fabric of her pajama pants. She placed the palms of her hands against his naked chest, feeling the firm muscles that he had worked so hard to obtain and she had always yearned to feel. He gazed into her dark eyes and she knew that he could see right into her soul.

She could sense him moving closer and her body tingled in anticipation. She was excited at just the thought of what was about to happen. She closed her eyes, wanting to feel every movement, every reaction.

She felt his lips meet hers softly. It was such a light touch that she wasn't sure if it constituted as a kiss at all, but it didn't matter. The small kiss sent shockwaves through her body. She had waited so long for that simple little touch from him and it was more than she ever could have dreamed about. She parted her lips, telling him that she didn't want him to stop. She felt his teeth scrape against her bottom lip and she quivered. Shivers went down her spine and flowed through her body. She felt his tongue exploring her mouth and she gladly returned the gesture. Nothing could have prepared her for the feelings that coursed through her body. Nothing had ever felt so good and she doubted that anything would feel that good again.

He took a step forward and they went toppling onto the bed together, never breaking the connection between them. His hand slid up her side underneath her tank top as he passionately devoured her mouth and he…

"Damn it!"

Neela sat straight up in bed. She heard something clunking in the other room and she could hear Ray grunting and swearing loudly.

Neela brought her hand to her face. It felt warm. Without having to look at it, she knew that it was deep red.

It was just another dream, she thought to herself, breathing heavily. A very good dream, she added, but just a dream.

It was just a dream in a series of many. It was a dream in a series that had started almost a month ago. Each dream was similar, but they were always different in some way. Sometimes it was the location that changed. Usually it was set in their apartment somewhere, either in her bedroom or in his, sometimes on the couch, and twice even in the kitchen. Every once and a while, though, especially if Neela had an incredibly bad day at work, she would dream they were in the ER lounge or in a trauma room after saving a patient's life. Once she even dreamt they were in the Jumbo Mart she used to work at.

The action that took place in each dream also always changed, but there was always a common goal. At some point in every dream, she and Ray ended up in each other's arms, kissing, but she usually woke up before anything further happened. Once, though, her dream had lasted for so long that he had stripped her of her shirt and pants, but she woke up before it could go any further than that. She still blamed her alarm for that one.

One thing that happened after every dream was when Neela woke up, she was always sweating, beat red, and flustered. And, when she saw Ray for the first time after every dream, she stumbled and stuttered and made some excuse to leave the room out of pure embarrassment. She knew that she would be totally mortified if he ever found out that she dreamed about him in such a way.

As she heard Ray swear one more time, she climbed out of bed. She walked over to her bureau and looked at herself in the mirror. As she suspected, her face was red, but the color was already beginning to fade back to its normal shade. Her stomach was still fluttering as she thought about how it would feel for him to really touch her like that.

Stop it, she berated herself. He's you're roommate.

Neela felt a chill go down her spine and she shivered. As she folded her arms across her chest to keep her body warm, she realized that she hadn't woken up sweating like she normally did. Sure, she had been a bit warm, but she definitely was not sweating. As matter of fact, she was suddenly freezing.

Neela went back to her bed, grabbed her blanket off the top, wrapped it around her shoulders, and made her way out of the room. She spotted Ray lying on his back next to the heater in the living room. Her first instinct was to try to bypass him on her way to grab something to eat from the kitchen, but, beside the fact that she was interested in what was causing him to swear so loudly so early in the morning, she also knew that she needed to learn to face him after one of her dreams. She couldn't keep on avoiding him forever. Besides, she thought, there was no way he could know what I was dreaming about.

"It's freezing in here," she commented, holding the blanket tight around her body.

"The heat's broken," Ray replied.

He had a wrench in his hand and a toolbox full of other tools beside him.

"It's broken?" Neela asked, walking over towards him. The room seemed to grow colder as she went and she shivered again.

"The whole apartment's out. I just talked to Lindsey next door."

"You actually know our next door neighbors?"

"She came over to borrow some eggs a few weeks ago."

"We never have any eggs."

"That's what I told her, but she ended up staying for a drink and we got to talking."

"Oh? About what?"

I am not jealous, Neela told herself. There's no way I can be jealous over a woman I don't even know. She could be 90 for all I know.

"You know, work, what we do for fun…" how I'm madly in love with my roommate and can't tell her. "She's nice. But anyway, the heat's out in the entire building and it hasn't stopped snowing."

"I thought the weather guy said it was supposed to stop last night?"

"He lied."

Neela walked over to the window, lifted the blinds, and looked outside. Everything was covered in a thick blanket of white. The trees around the apartment sagged under the weight of the heavy snow as if they were bowing down to the frozen ground. Cars parked on the street were completely invisible except for the occasional antenna sticking out over the snow. Nothing outside moved except for the thousands of snowflakes that fell from the sky.

"Thirty-three inches and counting," Ray reported. "And now they're saying it's not supposed to stop until late afternoon. We should have close to sixty by then."

"Sixty? That's five feet of snow!"

"Which would explain why we're snowed in."

"Snowed in?" She asked, pretending to be less than thrilled even though she was thinking - Snowed in! What could be better than spending the whole day with the man I had just been dreaming about ravishing me?

"You can barely open the front door of the apartment building. Not to mention that even if we did manage to open the door, there wouldn't be anywhere to go. And trudging through five feet of snow is not my idea of a good time."

Neela felt the cold air in the apartment going right through her pajama pants and even the blanket she had around her shoulders.

"Well, it's bloody cold in here."

"And it's going to get colder," Ray said. "The wind chill's supposed to go down to negative four."

"Why didn't you splurge for the apartment with the fireplace?"

"When I was planning on being a rock star, the whole fireplace thing didn't seem to fit my image."

"Maybe if you had the fireplace, it would have helped your career."

"Ouch," Ray said, clutching at his heart, pretending to be hurt.

Neela rolled her eyes.

"I'm going to take a shower," she announced.

"Well, don't waste all the hot water. I'm going to hop in after you." Or, we could conserve water and hop in together, his mind suggested.

"I'll be sure to leave you some," Neela said, throwing off the blanket that she had wrapped around her body.

Neela disappeared into the bathroom, leaving Ray staring at the broken heating unit.

Author's Note: Okay, this story was meant to be short and fluffy. I had no intention of making it more than one chapter, but as I kept writing and it kept getting longer and longer, I decided to break it up into chapters, which just proves to me yet again that I'm not so good at "short" stories. Anyway, this also is really my first attempt at writing the character's actual thoughts and I'm finding it to be quite fun. I hope you enjoyed chapter 1 and stay tuned for chapter 2!