Author Gibberish: Alright, another sad one. Sorry, but I seem to be going through a funk with these suckers. Really, I don't think this one is as depressing or as good as 'As If,' but it will have to do, I suppose. Once again, this has not been revised by a beta so please point out any problems! Thank you to all of my wonderful, fantastic, awesome readers!

-Tawnyb

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Get that? Nothing. I'm legally incapable of owning anything. In truth, my parents own me.


A dream is different from reality, and they had learned that the hard way.

No matter how close two minds are, a large physical gap would always set the true boundaries.

In their dreams, Van and Hitomi met as often as once a month. There were no promises of a next visit, and no set schedule. Sometimes there would bee a meeting missed, and neither would say a word. No strings attached, and no demands.

Over the years, they had met in much the same way: a small cliff overlooking a meadow, a large tree protecting them from both sun and rain. And though their appearances slowly changed, the setting never did.

In the begging, their conversation was naïve and hopeful: their plans for the future together, the exchange of only good news and shy smiles. Their actions were simple: a chaste kiss on the cheek or lips in greeting and farewell. In their dreams, the two had been innocent and close.

And the reality had been far from that.

Their naiveté of the situation was corrected three years later when Van had spoken the first words of bad news that had rung through their secret dream.

The ring about his calloused finger had seemed too small and constricting that day. Van had wished to remove, if only so that they could return to their naive peace.

She had taken it in with a smile, because, in reality, they had both known that this would happen. But the strain at the corner of her smile had remained there for some time.

Van never regretted his marriage, finding that doing so would be highly impractical. Though the marriage had been forced by a council of advisors, they were happy together.

Hitomi agreed it was a good match. The women was a year younger and beautiful, she was patient and caring. She was willing to give anything up to help the crown, and bore his children proudly.

He had felt guilty, having been so open with her about their true circumstances. But one day, she showed up with a diamond ring on her own hand, and all guilt was replaced by a surprising amount jealousy.

She didn't come to meet him for quite some time after that.

But, eight months later, they met up once again. The ring had been joined by another simpler band, and she was sporting a slightly rounded lower stomach. Three months in, he had guessed with a slight twinge.

It was times like these that Van realized that their dreams were slowly being impacted by the sad reality.

Their relationship was slowly morphing, changing into something that neither had expected. They were not the closest of friends, but were familiar to each other and helped one another grow and develop one heart ache at a time.

Both were too practical to continue believing in a far fetched romance. He was King, a father and husband with little time for such matters. Hitomi was an expectant mother with a comfortable job and a kind hearted husband, and she had long ago given up on the wistful daydreams of her youth.

The years passed in much the same way, until both had grand children. Their hearts had long since scabbed over and healed, the new scar tissue blocking out whatever hurt could come from the other.

She still asked after the others, their traveling companions and Van's children. He still worried over her living conditions and health. They made a right old pair, sitting in their never changing meadow.

They had both raised their children on fairytales of the other, though both had edited out certain parts to keep to themselves.

And as both their friends and family fell away over the years, as they lost spouses and children and became increasingly older, the meadow and cliff never changed.

Even when one of Van's grandsons, Folken, returned from the traditional dragon hunt with a blonde haired, green eyed girl from the Mystic Moon. One of Hitomi's granddaughters.

Even when Van was respectfully relieved of his duties as King, and made to be an advisor of the highest rank.

Even when, one day, Hitomi never returned.

The setting remained the same in Van's dreams, though now it seemed distastefully one-dimensional.

And Van, laying on his death-bed, finally came to a conclusion that made him smile and cry at the same time.

The space between their dreams and reality had never truly been there. And, neither wanting to know this, they had created a dream like setting. A place that would never change or grow.

Eyes becoming heavy, the old King smiled and fell into whatever was there to catch him. The last thought passing through his mind consisting of a never changing setting, and hopes that their grandchildren wouldn't make the same mistake.