Title: Falling
Pairing: Harlan/Radu
Rating: PG
Theme: #6 The space between dream and reality
Disclaimer: If I owned Space Cases, it never would have been cancelled :(

Notes: Written for 30 kisses on Livejournal

Summary: Partial AU. Radu catches a quick but lasting glimpse of one possible future.


"Radu, can you hear me? Someone get help!..."

He woke, startled, sitting up and clutching his head.

"Radu...?"

He wanted to acknowledge the voice with a nod, with anything, but his vision was blurry and it felt like his head was about to split open as pain shot through him.

"Radu!"

And then he had hands touching him and instinct forced him to shake them off, to distance himself from them. Whoever it was, they were persistent. Pressure from fingers continued to ghost over his skin and Radu couldn't hold back the shudder that engulfed him.

"No! Get away from me!"

He stumbled away from the bed, pressing himself against a wall, wanting nothing more than to hide in a corner.

He blinked furiously and his vision cleared enough that he was able to tell that he was in a circular room, the view from the windows on the far wall showing a clear sky bright with stars.

"What's wrong? Radu, talk to me!"

The world seemed to right itself as recognition dawned.

"...Harlan?"

The other boy seemed cautious as he nodded, still kneeling on the bed.

Radu clutched at his face before sinking to the floor, awash in the memory of his dream. Images flashed behind his closed eyes, indistinct but still frightening and he shivered, only vaguely registering Harlan's presence at his side.

This time, he did not refuse his touch. This, he remembered, this was real. This familiar room, the bed. In their house. On Earth.

"Bad dream?"

Radu sucked in a breath.

"You could say that."

The pain in his head still hadn't left him and he couldn't shake the unsettling sensation that he was falling. He massaged his temples but it didn't seem to help much.

"Do you remember what happened?"

Harlan's hands were covering his own now and Radu stilled, looking up at him.

"Just...feelings. Nothing..." he shook his head and immediately regretted it as his head pulsed again, "nothing solid."

Their fingers curled together.

"Come back to bed, alright?"

And then Harlan pulled him in closer, face lowering to his.

&

"Give him some room to breathe!"

This time Radu wasn't startled awake, he drifted, consciousness slowly fading in and out, bright lights piercing his eyes and making his head ache more, before he was finally able to focus on one thing: there was someone leaning over him.

The blurry image of Harlan formed above him and Radu had a fleeting sense of deja vu before taking in his surroundings. He was back on The Christa now and no longer in that strange round room. There was no shared bed and no windows open to a starry night on a planet that he's never been to.

And there was no Harlan asking him to come back to bed.

Harlan.

Radu's eyes met his.

"What happened?" he asked wearily,

"You fell," was the reply. "When we went out to take plant samples."

Harlan looked...concerned. An emotion that Radu was not used to seeing on the other boy, especially not in relation to him.

Except... in the dream that had seemed so real, if only for a moment. He had never felt so cared for before.

"There was a ledge," Harlan continued. "I tried to catch you, but..."

"...it was hidden by some plants...took me by surprise..." Radu finished, Harlan's words bringing everything back to him.

Radu stepped into thin air and lost his balance. Harlan had stretched out his arm to grab his hand, but it slipped, and as Radu fell, the only thing he could think about was the look of fear on Harlan's face.

Radu was brought back to the present by the flurry of motion from the rest of the crew as they were shooed out with the excuse that Radu needed some more rest.

"Glad you're okay, man," Harlan said seriously, the last to leave.

"Thanks Harlan," Radu replied with a hesitant smile and when the other boy clapped a hand on his shoulder, Radu couldn't help but remember how the other Harlan's lips had felt against his own.